Thursday, May 03, 2012

"Friendly" Fire

I began this post a couple of weeks ago.  I have debated whether or not I should finish and publish it.  I felt I should continue...

April 7 marked the 5-year anniversary of our family's entrance into the Catholic Church.  April 7, 2007, was a glorious day for us.  We are thankful for the journey God has brought us on, and where that journey led.

Many people haven't been as enthusiastic about that as we are. In fact, some individuals have been very antagonistic toward me and other members of my family.  Mostly, I am able to shrug it off, and just pray for the person to see the life of Christ in us.

Recently, someone I have known for most of my life (but not as a close friend--more of an acquaintance) bombarded me via Internet.  "How can you say you believe in the Bible if you're Catholic?  Don't you know all priests are liars?"  I won't say any more, but the diatribe was much longer than this.

I was shocked and hurt.  My response was to give Scriptural references for things the Catholic Church teaches.  I shared our story of journeying from where we were, to where we are.  The reply back was hateful and full of venom.  I instantly began e-mailing and sending messages out to my brothers and sisters in Christ, asking them to pray for me.  (Please note:  these people were both Catholic and Protestant.)  My concern was that I would let my hurt cause me to respond in anger and not love.

Why am I posting this?  Because I think that, even within the church realm, we often confuse "righteous anger" with "this-is-my-opinion-about-theology-and-I'm-right-so-I-don't-care-how-much-it-hurts-you".  And the verse always quoted is Ephesians 4:15:  "I'm speaking the truth in love.  So listen!"

Well, I'm sorry, dear sister, but I wasn't feeling the love.  All I felt was attacked.  Honestly, my main concern at this point is not about myself.  I am confident in the things I believe and have no doubt our family is where God wants us.

The concern I have is that this attitude will cause those who are not Christians to turn from Christ, rather than TO Christ.  Jesus said they will know we are His disciples by our love for one another.

Now, I do understand that when we feel someone is "off" doctrinally, there is nothing wrong with questioning that, or trying to open their eyes.  But there is a big difference between that and attacking someone.  The difference is LOVE.

Let's SHOW them we are Christians...