What is it like to be on the frontlines of controversy?
A sneaker wave of attention unexpectedly falls on your shore and you are expected to provide a satisfactory response. Most of us are left speechless, except for those placed in politics or in the entertainment world. They know how to deftly avoid or sometimes create storms that fulfill or quash an agenda.
The film “American Sniper” is a good example. I am amused by the controversy. It has launched a torrent of name-calling mixed in with back-pedaling and posturing. Each are passionate in sharing their views of patriotism or war-mongering – either to celebrate a man protecting our freedom or to provide a cry of injustice by sanctioning a man to kill.
Controversies demand resolution. They rarely ride off into the sunset. Supporters or opportunists will use whatever means at their disposal to further their cause.
Evangelism also sparks controversy.
It’s interesting how a firestorm will develop that causes people to wave the flag of freedom to protect certain beliefs while at the same time deny the practice of others. It is also interesting how certain religions will aggressively seek to convert others, but hasten the calls of intolerance and hate when others attempt to convert them.
Being a missionary in American, people will either look at you with awe and admiration or an uncomfortable nod of the head. You are praiseworthy to one person and labeled as intolerant by another.
When a person exercises their faith they automatically place themselves as a target. They are either a light on top of a hill to follow or to be shot at.
Either way, a Christian should not be surprised when they are placed in the frontlines of controversy.
Jesus warned believers of persecution, division of family, a life of suffering. There seems to be little accolade when bringing messages from the King. No wonder fear is the primary cause for Christians to withdraw, to hold their tongue, to feel uncomfortable when opportunities arise to share our faith. Fear is not a fruit of the spirit, but a self-generated response to a world that is quick to condemn. At its core, fear focuses on the preservation of self rather than giving glory to the King.
Perhaps when the winds of controversy start to blow in our direction, we can turn to face the wind with the spirit of gratefulness. We can seize the opportunity to praise our King by proclaiming his reign, his dominion, and what He has already done for us in Christ Jesus.
That would be witnessing well.
We can pray,
“Lord, I thank you for preserving me this day that you have already ordained for me. May I live out my time with a heart for you, a voice to proclaim, and legs that do not run from the prospects of controversy, but stands firm in the midst of any storm. Like the red & white lighthouses on a rocky shore, may our words and actions be a beacon of your Light to the world. Thank you for the privilege to be a reflection of Your grace to the world. Amen.
Good blog posts this week:
One Secret Weapon Everyone Needs for Every Battle
“I discovered facets of joy that no one ever taught me – more than whimsy, joy is a weapon we can use to fight life’s battles.”
“Saving faith is all about believing, not doing. Faith doesn’t look to the laws of God to see what People are to do. It only looks at the promises of God and sees what God has done and will do. ..When it comes to salvation, the only work that should be in the picture is Christ’s perfect work for us. Bringing in any other work ruins his masterpiece of grace.”