A young boy overhears his dad complaining to his mother about struggling to find time to wash his new truck that sits covered in filth in the driveway. The following day, as the dad is mowing the lawn, the 7 year-old son who adores his father, decides to help out. He drags out the water hose, soap, rags, and brushes, and begins washing his dad’s prized possession. He begins with the tires, using a stiff brush just like his dad has taught him. The only problem is that it’s a wire brush that had been used to scrape rust away from an old metal bench. But the wire brush did such a good job removing the dirt from the tires that the boy decides to use it to clean the rest of the truck.
Of course the paint job is ruined.
The son’s actions were born from the purest of motives; love and devotion to his father. “Daddy, I was just trying to help.”
But the the results of those actions were horrible.
How does the father react? Pleased with the heart of his son. Not so pleased with the result of his actions. The aftermath of good intentions.
“Son, you shouldn’t have done that!”
It’s easy to see what we should or shouldn’t have done……….after the fallout is done.
I drove past this truck this morning, parked in front of the Carter County Detention Center, where Rowan County clerk Kim Davis is currently jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples (I have a little trouble finding any value to the presence of this strangely decorated truck). News crews have poured into our town from all parts, as have protesters/supporters.
As I turned into our high school last night for a football game, Kim Davis supporters were standing in the middle of the highway at the school entrance, as well as aggressively approaching the entering traffic, trying to force everyone to take a flyer. Inappropriate. Downright threatening behavior. So much so, that I replied to my son Kal’s question of “what the heck are those people doing dad?” with a simple, “They’re nuts son.”
Various reports are circulating of protesters informing random people that they’re bound for Hell.
Sincere Christians have gathered over concerns of religious liberty and unfair persecution to pray.
But my hometown is a circus, with rallies scheduled for Monday and Tuesday (with a visit from Mike Huckabee).
It’s a hot topic of conversation, obviously. Everyone has an opinion that they’re quick to share. As I usually do, I’ve watched from a distance, digesting information, reading comments on Facebook from all sides of the issue. Plenty of people seem to have very strong opinions in support of Kim, against Kim, against gay marriage, supporting gay marriage, against the Supreme Court, for God, against God. And most people think they’re right I guess.
So much so, that I’ve decided that I could carefully lay out everything I believe about God, the Supreme Court, gay marriage, the importance of doing a job that we’re paid to do, grace, truth, obedience, division……..and I would be at odds with family members, church members, gay friends, and basically people on every side of every issue involved in this mess.
I think it’s always good to form opinions about PEOPLE based on their heart, dedication, and the motives (just like the boy who ruined his dad’s paint job) that drive the actions. But when the dust settles, judgement can be made about the value of those actions based on the results.
I don’t know the heart of Kim Davis. But I do know she is willing to go to jail for something she believes in. And I don’t know if she actually has any vision of a specific intended result. Is her opponent the Supreme Court and its decision? Is it her hope to lead others to Christ? I don’t know.
There could be a bigger picture here that I’m not seeing, but the developing little pictures aren’t looking so good. I do know that God is in control and He certainly can’t be please with the actions and words and hearts of all involved in this battle.
Matthew 28 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations,baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Making disciples comes first. This is not achieved by standing on a street corner and obeying the imaginary command, “Therefore, go stand on a street corner and yell at the people that you have determined are bound for hell.”
Sadly, this type of action gives someone who isn’t a Christ follower a pretty decent path to never become one. “If that’s what being a Christian looks like, then I don’t wanna be one.” Christians don’t have to be agreeable to things that go against God’s word. But we don’t have to be obnoxious either. It shouldn’t be that hard to avoid being the very reason that someone chooses to find the message of Christ unbelievable. People don’t need help finding excuses to make excuses.
Results won’t always match intentions, even when intentions are pure. Side effects of actions can’t always be seen in advance. Division among Christians is certainly not healthy and that’s a disturbing development that I’m seeing and hearing (I’m sure that some folks won’t hesitate to tell me that I’m wrong……..but by doing so you are trapped into making me right).
Do right and be light. Don’t force feed the concept of being right. Know that your own “rightness” doesn’t change hearts but your righteousness just might. Righteousness should look a lot more like being Christ-like than a lot of the things I’m hearing and seeing.
Silent and prayerful observation would seem to have more value than misguided outbursts.
A young college student I spoke with at Friday’s football game may have summed it up best:
“I don’t stand with Kim Davis. I don’t stand with the Supreme Court. I stand for Christ.”
Sounds pretty good to me.
Now let’s get this circus cleared out before the Westboro kooks decide to show up.