“When Christians get so defensive about God they end up not defending God but defending themselves. It is their own honor at stake, their own pride, and security, their reputation—not God’s.
When our only motivation for defending God is a concern for ourselves, we end up looking ridiculous to outsiders.
What if Christians actually laid down their honor, their pride, their instincts to get defensive? What if we beat our swords into plowshares and answered every attack with love, with a still small voice that never wavered, but never raised?
It would mean that we are finally imitators of Jesus, and every last one of the accusations leveled against us—that we are hateful, hypocrites, selfish, narrow-minded and backward—would no longer be true. Jesus, who we claim to defend, was ambivalent about his public approval rating. He often eschewed clear declarative statements about his beliefs by teaching in parables that required thought from his listeners. He demonstrated his greatest strength by offering no defense when his life depended on it.
So are we really being Christ-like in our rush to defend Christianity by declaring what God thinks about any number of thorny social issues? Are we imitating Christ by advertising who we think is going to hell? Are we turning any hearts with our “defense?” Ancient people believed that their gods needed human support in the form of sacrifices–animal or even human—in order to live. God, however, makes abundantly clear in the Bible that He is not like that. He does not need our sacrifices. He is self-sufficient.
But it seems that modern Christians often forget this, believing God needs us to speak for Him, to defend His honor, as if He cannot speak for Himself.
Turning from a defensive posture often requires rethinking our concept of God.
When Elijah went to the mountaintop to search for God, a hurricane force wind came out to meet him. Following it, came an earthquake, and then a forest fire. But the story says simply: But God was not in the wind or the earthquake or the fire (1 Kings 19). He wasn’t in the natural disasters. Elijah had to listen intently because God came to him as a still, small voice.
So often, Christians want to demonstrate God with our version of those natural disasters and to shout loudly with fiery force. Christians want to declare to America what God thinks—and to speak out boldly and lobby the government for an agenda.
All that is accomplished with that approach is destruction. It’s a disaster. The voice of the Holy Spirit is drowned out in the noise. It is when Christians demonstrate God in a still, small voice, in the context of love and friendship that God can actually speak to people.”
Still catching up. 🙂