How to Respond to the Labels – Intolerant, Judgmental, Hater


Impossible to please everybody J C Ryle quote

 Some might think I live in a bubble because I’ve homeschooled my kids for the last 5 years…they’d be wrong.  For the first 18 years of my life, I attended public schools.  I also worked in the “real world” as a waitress for many years and later as a receptionist, Administrative Assistant and Business Sales Rep.  During those years, I made friends with all sorts – gay and straight, Mormon, Jehovah Witness, Muslim, Buddhist, Atheist and every denomination from Charismatic to Fundamentalist to Methodist and Presbyterian.

I sincerely enjoy people and anyone who is kind to me, I quickly adopt as a friend.

I have never been shy about my faith  - 100% of those I listed above, I discussed faith with and probably 25% of them I gave a Bible to as a gift.

And never – never once was I ever called intolerant, judgmental or a hater.  Why?

Because when we are able to get to know people in real life –real flesh and blood, we are able to know a person’s heart, accept them as they are and understand differences without getting angry.

But the on-line world is a whole.different.story!

Did you know that 7% of our communication is words, 38% is through vocal tones and 55% through NON-VERBAL elements like facial expressions, gestures and posture.

This means that when we discuss “hot topics” on-line, 93% of our heart as we communicate (the non-verbals) are missing.

I believe this gets Christians into hot water – FAST!

A 140 character tweet that contains “truth” as we call it  - can sound judgmental or hateful to someone who sees you as…judgmental or hateful.

A Facebook debate where we add our 2 cents, in the most gracious way we can, can come off as intolerant.

It is incredibly hard to speak “truth in love” on-line!  This is why I’m continually putting hearts and smiley faces all over my social media. It is my attempt to give some non-verbal love.

Before I share how I handle these labels, I want to share some of what I have faced on-line.  I have received hundreds of comments and emails with insults.  The first time it happened, I was devastated…it was five and a half years ago on a post about my daughter and this woman commented and said ~ “I hope your daughter becomes an atheist and never speaks to you again.”

Total shock! I only had about 50 followers at the time and it came so out of left field that it troubled me for weeks!

But as my blog grew – the volume of insults grew too.  With each new insult, I was a little less shocked.

Here’s an example of some negative comments I have received on my Women Living Well Youtube Channel:

  • I hate you. You need to be slapped, promoting these erroneous morals that destroy progression in our modern world.
  • Keep this in mind: You make the world a worse place. You are the reason for war. You are the reason for violence. You are the reason for all of the willful ignorance in the world. YOU are the cause of EVERYTHING evil involving gender equality. YOU.
  • How sad that you treat a book that has been rewritten and proven false to be absolute truth. I feel pity that you will never know real life by throwing it away. Stupid doesn’t begin to cover your retarded beliefs. Here’s hoping you grow a brain and are unable to have children to grow up into this self-destroying dogma.
  • Cuckoo! Cuckoo!
  • You are a foolish woman!!!
  • It’s preposterous to claim you follow God’s word literally. You follow what your warped surroundings have ingrained in your twisted mind.
  • Crazy that my post didn’t make it! Can’t deal with the true contradictions of your flawed bible, you ignorant creature?
  • You’re an idiot bigot.
  • You want to brain-wash your kids into your silly myth and keep them from the truth.
  • I find you Highly annoying and egregiously idealistic…I am pretty sure you are no Provebs 31 woman, and everything you claim that is so amazing to you is actually so far from reach and unattainable that your constant lust for perfection causes you severe emotional break downs.
  • God’s word? What bull sh**! What the f*** would you know what god wants?
  • this is retarded. , F*** your ideas , F*** your literal bible translation, and F*** you.

And just last week – I got a long ranting email – this is a short excerpt:

You are so fake and obnoxious in your videos. Your over-sized fake smile with your giant gums is so annoying that I’ve stopped watching your videos entirely.

OUCH!!!!!!!

A W Tozer To be right with men

For years, this has surrounded me – at times, I’d say it has even jaded me.  I have always been one to assume the good in others…but I’ll admit, I see things differently now.  I live in the midst of spiritual warfare everyday.

I used to speak more boldly…and I thought that maybe my choice to soften a bit was maturity…but now I realize it’s not maturity – it’s fear.  I have a lot of fear inside of me.

And I have cried out to God – how in the world do I respond to these people?

Luke 6:27-36 (NIV)

Love your Enemies

27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.

32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

Mercy.

We follow a crucified man…the crowds hated Jesus to the point of death –of course we’re going to be labeled and insulted.

Being a follower of Christ means…

we must humble ourselves.(Philippians 2)

we must deny ourselves. (Luke 9:23)

we must live the crucified life. (Galatians 2:20)

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20

***Pause for a moment…is there a person that God is bringing to mind that you need to extend mercy to?  This person has wrongfully labeled you, either in real life or on-line, and you are hurt, angry and have shut them out.

Be kinder than you feel.

Luke 6:35 says – “your reward will be great” if you extend mercy.

I have a feeling the Holy Spirit is bringing someone to mind for all of us. Do you feel that nudge?  Don’t ignore it!

We have a direct command from Jesus –”Pray for those who mistreat you.”

Go heap kindness on them! You will be blessed!

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
~Romans 12:20,21

Walk with the King,

Courtney

The other posts in this series:
Speaking the Truth In Love
The Authority of Scripture and 5 Ways to Defend Truth
The Ultimate Cultural Sin –Intolerance
How to Respond to the Labels – Intolerant, Judgmental, and Hater
What is Sound Doctrine?
Should Christians Simply Unite Around the Gospel?
Can a Woman Be an Elder or Pastor?
Should a Wife Submit To Her Husband?
Can Good Works Save You?
Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing

5 Ways to Defend Truth

God's word defines truth.

Before we get started with the #TruthInLove series, we need to define some terms.

Truth is reality…what really is.

Subjectivism is where truth and reality are determined by the subject or person.

Relativism is the theory that there is no objective standard by which truth may be determined.  There is no absolute truth.

As Bible believers we believe in absolute truth which means we stand opposed to relativism and subjectivism.  Truth is not relative to time, location, and people groups.  Truth is not subject to peoples opinions or culture.  God’s Word defines truth.

Whew – that was a lot of words that we don’t deal with on a daily basis but here’s the point!

A world of relativism is a world of contradictions.  If I say the coffee pot is empty and you say the coffee pot is full and we are both right…then our world makes no sense.  This is impossible.

If a Christian says “there is a God” and an atheist says “there is no God” we cannot both be right. It is impossible.

So then we move into moral issues.

If culture teaches our teens that sex outside of marriage is okay and even good and we say it is wrong  (I Cor. 6,7) it is impossible to both be right.

So the struggle for us as believers is living in this world of contradictions.

those who reject the Bible

Sometimes in our goal to love others well – the church becomes wishy washy.  While it’s vital we love others well - we must not be ashamed of drawing a line in the sand and saying – “this is wrong”. Period.

But is the Bible absolute truth?  I mean if we aren’t sure –we will never speak up right?  And when we do speak up – should it be via a twitter war or a facebook debate, or should it be privately amongst our children and in Bible study groups, or should it be from blogger to blogger – one on one?

I can’t answer the questions of when to speak up – you will have to follow the Holy Spirit’s leading but I can answer the how.  It MUST be done in love.  How can you know if you are doing it from a heart of love? First, ask yourself –do I love this person that I am talking to?  If you really don’t care for this person, then most likely –the truth you are about to share is going to come off in a tone that makes your truth impossible to accept.  We will be like clanging gongs and cymbals as I Corinthians 13 says.

If we can’t speak in love, we are outside the will of God —do not speak at all.

But if we love the person, pray and then proceed boldly.  Stand firm, let nothing move you. You have entered a spiritual battle.  The enemy is not the person you are contending with but rather Satan himself, the father of lies.  Do this with gentleness and respect.

“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” I Peter 3:15

If your confidence in the authority of the Bible is not strong – it will be scary to speak up.  So let me give you some facts to build your faith upon from Josh McDowell’s book Evidence Demands a Verdict.

The Bible is unique!

It was written over a 1500 year span by more than 40 authors from every walk of life – kings, fishermen, poets, and scholars. It was written in different places such as the wilderness, prison, and palaces.  It was written in times of war & in times of peace, in times of despair & times of joy.  It was penned on 3 continents -Asia, Africa, & Europe and written in 3 languages –  Hebrew, Aramaic, & Greek.  The Bible contains hundreds of controversial topics…WITH an amazing degree of harmony.

Boom!

Find me 5 random men from your local town who could do this with harmony!  It can not be done – this is what makes God’s word – God’s!

2 Timothy 3:16 says: “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.”

The Bible is the Book of Books! It is not merely a book about God – it is a book from God.~ R.C. Sproul

The Bible is the #1 best selling book of all time. No other book in history has been translated, retranslated & paraphrased more than the Bible. The Bible has been translated into over 2,200 languages. No other book comes close to it’s unique influence on civilization including calendar dates (B.C. Before Christ).

The Bible contains over 300 prophetic references to the coming Messiah that were perfectly fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

Here’s just a few…
Born Of a Virgin – foretold in Isaiah 7:14 / fulfilled in Luke 1:26-35
Seed of Abraham – foretold in Genesis 22:18 / fulfilled in Matthew 1:1
Tribe of Judah – foretold in Genesis 49:10 / fulfilled in Luke 3:23,33
Born in Bethlehem – foretold in Micah 5:2 / fulfilled in Matthew 2:1
Shall be called Immanuel – foretold in Isaiah 7:14 / fulfilled in Matthew 1:23
Ministry of miracles – foretold in Isaiah 35:5,6 / fulfilled in Matthew 9:35
He was to enter Jerusalem on a Donkey – foretold in Zechariah 9:9 / fulfilled in Luke 19:35-37
Silent before His accusers – foretold in Isaiah 53:7 / fulfilled in Matthew 27:12
Wounded and Bruised – foretold in Isaiah 53:5 / fulfilled in Matthew 27:26
Hands and feet pierced – foretold in Zechariah 12:10 / fulfilled in Luke 23:33

Do you see why we have no reason to give way to fear and ride the fence?

Sweet Christian sisters – some will make you doubt the Bible.  Some will make you feel like you are less than them – less intelligent, less cool, or less culturally relevant.  But you can have full confidence that God’s word is truth.

Where God’s word speaks – we must speak.  And that is what I will focus on in the coming weeks of this series.  God has clearly spoken to the cultural issues of our day.

Where God’s word is silent regarding gray areas – that’s where I will be silent and leave room for personal convictions and grace.

In the book of Judges there is a phrase used over and over…and over.  It says: “In those days, everyone did what was right in their own eyes.” This is the world we live in – a world of no absolutes — a world where right and wrong is defined by feelings and truth has been twisted to suit our own opinions. We must not let this seep into the church.  We MUST be bold and courageous and stand for truth!  The father of lies has taken enough ground – it is time we stand firm and say – you have come this far and you will go no farther. We will not let you mar the bride of Christ. We will not fall for your tricks and deception. We will not play footsies with those who twist your word.

5 Ways to Defend Truth:

1. Get into God’s word – read it daily. Know what it says!

2 Timothy 2:15: “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” esv

2. Pursue sound doctrine. Don’t follow teachers who itch ears (or spread their quotes and links on your social media).

2 Timothy 4:3, “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.”

3. Love everyone including your enemies. Pray for the church, the beautiful bride of Christ.

I John 4:8: “Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

4.  Be bold, courageous and unashamed!

2 Timothy 1:7,8: “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.  Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God” esv

5.  Do not be surprised when you are slandered because of your stand for truth.

I Peter 4:12-16: Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.

May we unite and lift the name of our Lord Jesus Christ higher and shine unashamedly in a dark and weary world.

I look forward to going deeper in with you next Monday!

Chime In: What is the most difficult part for you when defending truth? Is it feeling unequipped and unsure of what scripture says? Is it being called names like judgmental and intolerant? Is it fear of losing a friendship? Or is it a fear of confrontation?

I make this list straight from my heart – these are MY fears too. You are not alone.

Walk with the King,

Courtney

The other posts in this series:
Speaking the Truth In Love
The Authority of Scripture and 5 Ways to Defend Truth
The Ultimate Cultural Sin –Intolerance
How to Respond to the Labels – Intolerant, Judgmental, and Hater
What is Sound Doctrine?
Should Christians Simply Unite Around the Gospel?
Can a Woman Be an Elder or Pastor?
Should a Wife Submit To Her Husband?
Can Good Works Save You?
Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing

 

Being a Creationist {In Opposite World}

Being a creationist in opposite world

Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. ~ I Peter 3:15

Our homeschool group went to the Natural History Museum in May.  We started out the day with a presentation in the planetarian.  The lights went dark and the speaker began.

“Billions of years ago there was a dense ball of energy that expanded and formed our universe.”

………………………..really?

One of the other moms said our sons both whispered out loud “wrong!”

Then this speaker explained the marvelous galaxies that our God created and I sat there in awe.

We serve an awesome God!

We went on and explored the fascinating museum of God’s creation and as we finished the dinosaur exhibit we saw this sign:

IMG_1889

Bombarded!

Since the day I’ve begun checking books out of the library to teach my children science – we have been bombarded by Opposite World’s theory of evolution.  It’s everywhere!  Just this week I got a science book from the library and here’s how it begins:

evolution 3)

Believing that the God of the Bible created the earth is no longer the default teaching and our children need to be prepared to give answers and to recognize right from wrong.

This is not a new modern problem.  When I was in high school, I carried my Bible with me to my public school everyday.  In the back of my Bible, I had these notes jotted down to help me when I was confronted by other students who challenged my beliefs.  The middle section on the right was written to help me answer evolution.

evolution 2

It has never been easy for believers in Opposite World.  The opposition has many tools in their tool belt.  One is insulting our intelligence for believing in a book of fairy tales.

Friends, there is a spiritual battle happening around us.  And when Opposite World removes God from the equation, then they remove all responsibility to Him.  There’s no Adam and Eve, there’s no sin nature, and there’s no need for a redeemer named Jesus.  God’s word becomes obsolete and the way Christians live their lives becomes a reason for ridicule.

Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. ~ I Peter 3:15

 We must be prepared to give answers with gentleness and respect…and…

We must give our children the tools they need to defend their faith – to give an intelligent, gentle answer to those who will question them.  Because they WILL be questioned.  Here’s some of the ways I have defended my faith when asked:

1.)  I appeal to reason.  Is it possible to take a bunch of pieces of metal throw them up in the air and get a watch that works and tells time perfectly? No, clearly every watch has a watch maker.  In the same way, our amazing bodies are made with eyes that see out of a tiny black circle and hands with unique finger prints and a womb to birth babies.  It is so intricate and complex!  The human body alone is evidence of an intelligent designer.

2.) I appeal to facts.  If we are a part of evolution why do we not see half monkey/half men still walking the earth and evolving today?  Also, when animals adapt and change they micro-evolve, meaning within their breed there may be changes – but we never see dogs changing into giraffes.  Each animal produces after their own “kind”.  In Genesis 1 when God  created the animals He said: 24 And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. 25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

God did not create evolution.  He created animals to only reproduce after their own kind.

3.) I appeal to faith.  Did you see the big bang happen? Do you have pictures of it?  Did I see creation happen? Do I have pictures of it?

Nope – neither of us have 100% concrete evidence.  It takes a leap of faith to believe in creationism AND it takes a leap of faith to believe in the big bang theory.

One conclusion: If I’m wrong and the big bang theory is right – my faith in the God of the Bible has cost me to lose nothing.  But if I’m right and the God of the Bible is true – those who believe in the big bang theory are subject to hell.  It is certainly not something to quickly dismiss.

I am barely scratching the surface here of all the questions that are raised about creationism.  But let me give you some on-line resources that you can use to first equip yourself and then equip your children.

AnswersInGenesis.org – is a great place to start!

I have always found all of Ravi Zacharias’ books and videos helpful – he is a skilled apologist.  His youtube channel here is great.

The Way of the Master – Intelligent Design Vs. Evolution - has great resources too!

And finally, Josh McDowell.  I started reading his books in high school and he helped me through many difficult conversations. Evidence Demands a Verdict  is one of my favorite books and I highly recommend it if you have a child who is asking for more evidence of God’s word being true.

 Chime In:  According to I Peter 3:15, we are called to give Opposite World an answer when they ask for our reason of hope. Please share in the comment section any resources or thoughts that would help us be more equipped to answer.

Walk with the King,

 

 

 

Election Desperation

 

 

We are down to the wire! Both candidates  are pulling out all the stops in their final desperation to get out the vote!  My home state – Ohio – is a swing state and there is a thick political cloud of tension hanging over our state.  The Airforce One has landed here quite frequently this month and Romney was in our hometown this past Friday and will be back again this week.  We’ve attended rallies and posted our signs in the yard (and had them stolen once – then we got new ones and they were pulled out and thrown in the middle of the street at 3am this past Saturday night).  The phone is ringing off the hook with political commercials, polls and requests for money. 

Desperation.

What does desperation bring out in you? For some it’s the best – we perform well under pressure. For others desperation looks ugly and we buckle under pressure.

Often we see desperation at the end of a tight race or an athletic competition when the score is close or when there’s a deadline.  I wonder… do we treat life’s race to eternity with the same desperation. No one on this earth knows when Christ will return – we are just asked to be prepared. If we knew wouldn’t we live life differently? How desperate would our plea be to those around us to choose Christ or to spread the Word that He is the One to choose?

Have you been involved in any political debates or discussions over this election?

I hope that you will fight with the same vigor to share the gospel and convince people to choose Christ. These are desperate times when evil is called good and good is called evil.

2 Corinthians 5:20-6:2 says “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. As God’s fellow workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. For He says “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.”

 Do you hear the desperation in the words “appeal, implore, urge, now, now”?

 Stand for truth. Stand for truth at the polls – and stand for truth in your everyday life.

I have already absentee voted because my husband was not sure if he’d be traveling on election day and he did not want to miss voting.  So we voted together at home.  I voted pro-life, pro-marriage and pro-Israel.  I desperately ask you to vote and then put it behind you – and go and be an ambassador for Christ. Be sure your loved ones and neighbors know – today is the day of salvation! They desperately need to choose Christ!

Walk with the King,

 

 

 

How Religious Is Your State? & WLWW Link-Up Party!

Gallup just released their newest polls and research on Religiousity in America and I thought it was interesting.

religious-states-us-map-gallup_.jpeg

 Photo Credit

Photo Credit

Just because someone calls himself “Religious” doesn’t mean they have a “Walk with the King” or have an intimate walk with Jesus…but I think this map shows us where more evangelism needs to be done…some states are saturated with Bible believing churches on every street corner – while others are desolate!

I love the power of the Internet that shines light into every dark nook and cranny of America!!!

For my readers in the U.S., how does your state look?  We don’t have to get on an airplane and fly across the ocean to find a lost person to share the gospel with – for most of us – we just need to walk across the street.

Keep spreading the truth till the whole world hears!!!

Walk with the King,

It’s my favorite day of the week! It’s Women Living Well’s Wednesday Link-Up Party!!!

Join the fun, do a little blog hopping and don’t forget if you join below -please add the Women Living Well Wednesdays button to your post so your readers can find us here! (Posts can include the topics of marriage, parenting, homemaking, homeschooling, finances, recipes, organization and more!)


To find the code go to the sidebar – or right click and “save as” the button and then upload it into your post! :)