Monday, December 17, 2012

Dear God, THANK YOU that you're not a WIMP!

I have struggled as to whether or not I should post this, because my fear is that it could hurt some feelings or make some people angry. People I love and respect. This is never my intent. But this is bothering me enough that I thought it worth saying. 

I have a confession. I'm sick to death of this message and others like it:

I understand the sentiment behind it, and I know the motivation behind posting is right on track. But it's problematic for so many reasons. Here are just a few:

1. It assumes that the only way to make God known is through the ways we've been told are not allowed. Public prayer, etc. Certainly Christians (including myself) would love to see every school in the world fully embrace prayer, Scripture reading, etc. This would be a win for sure. But this is not the only way to represent Christ. In fact, I would argue that it isn't even the *best* way to represent Christ. Personal relationships and living authentically have much more impact in my opinion. Schools may be able to keep people from reading a prayer over the intercom, but they can't keep anyone from living in such a way that represents Christ well. Nor can they keep anyone from engaging in prayer, Scripture reading, etc. along with their classmates outside of the school building. This takes more work than just posting a prayer on a bulletin board or reading one aloud, but if changed hearts are what we truly desire (rather than just getting our way), shouldn't the extra work be worth it? At the risk of sounding flippant regarding these restrictions (which I am not), I would much prefer to know that the hearts of students are filled with silent prayers they wish they could say out loud than to know that they're allowed to pray but have no desire to do so.

2. It attributes far more power to those making these types of rules than what they are due. FAR MORE. Let's be clear. God is allowed WHEREVER HE WANTS TO GO WHENEVER HE WANTS TO GO THERE. He needs no one's permission. He created every bit of matter and every force and factor that affects it and sits in complete control over all of it in every millisecond of time. Period. Let's not pretend for one instant that any law or rule can change that. Furthermore, God is not surprised by anything going on in our schools these days. Whatever rules and restrictions exist, He allowed them. Whatever we may think of the government that is in place today, all of it is fully under God's sovereignty, which means every elected official and every law (even those which compromise the sanctity of human life) are fully under His control. No way will I pretend to understand why he is allowing so much that seems to scream in the face of his holiness. But this I know for certain. It is NOT because of any human boundary being forced on him. God is God. We are not. 

3. It completely denies God's omnipresence. Not only is God "allowed" anywhere and everywhere He wants to be, by his very nature, he is already there. God is never absent. He is misrepresented. He is blasphemed. He is denied. But he is never absent. If Christians continue to act as though non-Christians have the power to keep God out of our schools, we are denying his very nature, AND we are denying one of the most powerful truths of Christianity--that Christ (who is fully God) lives WITHIN us. 

Let's STOP misrepresenting our mighty and powerful God! He is not a wimp. He is under no one's thumb. Let's live as though we KNOW and BELIEVE this with every fiber of our being! These are difficult and troubling times for sure, but LISTEN-- we know how the story ends. Not with a pitiful God walking away from the locked doors of a school with his tail tucked between his legs. NO! With a Habakkuk 2:14 God!!! And far as I can tell, he doesn't have to wait for permission. Rejoice with me! We know the ending, and it is GOOD!

Habakkuk 2:14:

For the earth will be filled
    with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord
    as the waters cover the sea.

1 comment:

Mark and Amy said...

Ah Becky!!!!! Amen and Amen. These words resonate in my soul and I, too, have been sick of the seeming unwillingness of people to actually think for one second about the implications of such statements and others like it that misrepresent God as if He were a puppet. I know what is meant and I appreciate the point trying to be made. But, it is problematic and does not get at the root of things. Thank you for another great post (and thankfully there are some others out there today as well) that actually says something truthful and therefore, helpful by reminding us who God really is in Himself. Sovereign. Wise. Good. And so much more!