Friday, June 5, 2009

Confess and Repent

I seem to be writing about a lot of less-than-cheery stuff lately. I guess a lot of less-than-cheery topics have been thrown into my lap.

I talked with my friend Shelley yesterday about the murder of Dr. Tiller. I found out this week that one of my Wichita friends worked in his clinic for several years. She's a writer now and blogged about her feelings on the matter all week. She copied there a comment some person out there wrote about her reflections--a perfect stranger who called her a moral monster.

Did you hear that? A moral monster. Yeah, that's the way to win friends and influence people. Much as I disagree with my friend on the abortion question, she is in no way a moral monster.

I've been furious with some of the pro-life reaction to the whole event (who publicly questions the eternal destiny of the recently departed while their friends and family are still mourning?? So cold and tacky). I've also been angry and offended at many of the pro-choice comments about pro-life religious folks, a group which I claim.

However, I'm having a slow change of heart about that. I've always protested the charges of hate that has been leveled at Christians over the abortion issue, the gay marriage issue, etc. etc. But I've become convicted. We need to be honest with ourselves.

The very fact that such a charge of hatred could be directed at the church and have any chance of sticking should bring the church to its knees in repentance.

Jesus never said that people would know we're his disciples by our correct convictions. Or by our proper political stances. Or by our righteous behavior. Or by our deep scriptural knowledge. Or by our our large numbers. He said they would know we are his disciples by our LOVE. And Lord knows, that's not what His church is known for in America today. How miserably have we failed in our greatest calling: to love.

Shelley mentioned yesterday how many Christians have become much too obsessed with the "correctness" of their cause. "We're right. Our cause is just. Our doctrine is correct." As if that justifies everything. Who bloody cares how right you are if you are also cruel??

And I'm not excused by saying that I, personally, didn't do any of this. I don't hate anyone. But how much have I actually loved? Love is a pro-active act of the will -- not merely an absence of ill-will. It's all well and good for me to sit around talking about how ineffective the pro-life movement has been and to pontificate about what should be done to end or reduce abortions in America. But to my shame, I have been quite happy to sit back and let others fight the battles their way. Like the non-voter who reserves the right to complain about the administration anyway. Hypocrite.

So, I'm wallowing in my guilt and conviction now. But I don't know what to do next. I can't work for every cause; I can't fight in every battle. I guess I just pray for direction. For the next few steps on my path to be lit well -- and for the courage to take the path as shown.


Robin Shreeves said...

Great thoughts, Gwen. You have a talent fleshing out thoughts into words that I am jealous of.

chief320 said...

The one I love is the saying "Hate the sin, love the sinner", but what does that really entail. The reality is that we cannot show "love" to all. The world is too big, but we sure have the lack of hatred.

My general rule is to show that love to those you meet and not voice hatred about those you don't meet - after all, you may meet them one day and don't want your witness tarnished because of something you did in your past.

Anonymous said...

Ironically I am in the midst of my grieving and going through my own thoughts of, "I could have been more compassionate towards my brother if I knew he was on his last days of life." There is a lesson for me in regards to being more merciful and giving grace without reservations, but at this time I am still too emotional to discern what I'm to learn.

Nevertheless I have to say that there are boundaries that I have set in order for me to survive and keep my mental and spiritual life healthy. When I see that there is a situation or a person testing that boundary, I get my tough love thinker on. That is what I did with my brother and now I questioned, "What about compassion?" My brother knew I loved him even when there was truth said in love ... but I am now questioning my compassion.

Okay having said all that, I battled between anger and patients with those who choose to medically, burn, chop, stab, suck and cut babies out of the womb. I have protested at Tiller's Clinic, I stood there talking to a tech, he on one side of the fence, and I on the other. We talked about many things, the whole time it was a peaceful protest (back in 1999). I told him I would pray for him and he thanked me.

I wanted a redemption story from Tiller's clinic, I wanted that clinic to be redeemed from the bloodshed and the smoke of dead babies that fill the Wichita skies!! I was shocked and angered that Tiller didn't have another chance to breath, laugh, cry and see his children and grandchildren, and spend his old years with his wife. His death was senseless - just as abortions are senseless!

Love is an action I know that ... and the act of murder is not done in love and yet God redeemed Moses, David, and many others! So now that is my hope for Tiller's killer.

Sometimes love is tough and it making a stance for the unborn will sound and look like we are not compassionate, or not acting in love when we say, " IT IS NOT ONLY INCORRECT TO KILL BABIES BUT IT NEEDS TO STOP!" ... there is too much bloodshed and that is cruel, cold, and so unloving.

No Tiller didn't deserve it BUT we can't forget those millions of babies either. And I believe that babies bring out the ugly in us because we know deep inside that somebody needs to stand up for them even if it looks messy because to do nothing is to allow it.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts ... I too am growing and learning about this walk in faith.

Irene Hoyer

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