Saturday, November 01, 2008

I didn't know I was so controversial

Well, I've written two posts too many for the ultra conservative far right folks who read the blog. Voting for Obama *AND* taking my kids trick-or-treating? How dare I! How can I even call myself a Christian?! There is a "scary pattern" appearing. I must be backsliding. What? What is it that makes someone a Christian? Oh yeah--my deep seeded belief that Jesus Christ is the Messiah and my personal Lord and Savior!

Please, do not feel the need to write to me and convince me that I'm going to have blood on my hands for voting for Obama. Please, do not feel the need to write to me and convince me that I was wrong to take my kids trick-or-treating.

Good grief. Voting for a pro-choice candidate does not make me pro-choice, anymore than participating in Halloween makes me a satanist.

Anita...feeling more than a little judged and beat up by my ultra-conservative friends. Interesting, since most people consider ME ultra-conservative.

18 comments:

Momto13 4:47 PM  

The scary pattern to me is the Christian folks that are so quick to judge and so fast to say what GOD is thinking. Let's pray about our choices and let God lead us- and not worry about what the Jones or the Smith's are doing OR SAYING.

I so appreciate the Christian folks who don't point fingers at others. Where have they all gone? Lately I am finding them far and few between! Isn't that how God calls us to be?

Love,
Sarah

Kerry 5:37 PM  

Hey there! Don't you worry about people being ugly to you. I think people who don't go trick-or-treating are missing out on reclaiming a wonderful CHRISTIAN holiday from those who'd use it for evil purposes.

The Eisele Family 5:39 PM  

Well girlfriend, my kids dressed up - as a raccoon, a basketball player and a pumpkin - and they trick-or-treated to their heart's content. When they asked me what Halloween "really means" I told them to our family it is only a day to dress up and eat lots of candy. A day of fun. I think it is what you make it. I think you are a great mom. Sending huge hugs. :)

Nadia 5:39 PM  

I am SOOO glad I'm Canadian and don't have to decide who to vote for in a US election! :)(and I'm glad our election was over in about 45 days start to finish LOL) don't stress yourself out about what others think..if we all had the same opinions and views on things we'd be a pretty boring bunch. it's YOUR blog, and you can write what you want. No one is making anyone read it.

Sean and Stacey 6:06 PM  

I love reading your blog and I am proudly a conservative Christian. We only need to worry about what the Lord personally convicts our hearts about, not judging others because their personal convictions are different than ours. Keep on writing sister!!!!

A. Gillispie 6:25 PM  

Thanks ladies. Sorry I blew off the handle. I was just so hurt today by some private emails. Laurel, I want you to know I wasn't referring to your comment on trick-or-treating. =-) It makes me so sad to think that one Christian would judge another as "less Christian" for making a prayer-filled decision about who to vote for (regardless of who that is). Sad, sad, sad.
Anita

His Hands His Feet Today 6:55 PM  

Randy Alcorn (Christian author and teacher) said it beautifully on his blog (http://randyalcorn.blogspot.com/) ... so I will cut and paste it here:

Here's some Scripture to orient us, because without it we are always confused. Please don't skim over it. Forget the words of men, forget the media coverage of the presidential race. Just think about these words of Almighty God:


If the people of the community close their eyes when that man gives one of his children to Molech…I will set my face against that man and his family and will cut off from their people both him and all who follow him… (Leviticus 20:1-5)

Do this so that innocent blood will not be shed in your land, which the LORD your God is giving you as your inheritance, and so that you will not be guilty of bloodshed. (Deuteronomy 19:10)

He sent them to destroy Judah…Surely these things happened to Judah according to the Lord’s command, in order to remove them from his presence because of the sins of Manasseh and all he had done, including the shedding of innocent blood. For he filled Jerusalem with innocent blood, and the LORD was not willing to forgive. (2 Kings 24:2-4)

There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood… (Proverbs 6:16-19)

Therefore as surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I will give you over to bloodshed and it will pursue you. Since you did not hate bloodshed, bloodshed will pursue you. (Ezekiel 35:6)

Every Christian should take these teachings seriously. Is the unborn an innocent human being? If you claim to be prolife in the historical meaning of the word, then your answer is yes. Is abortion the shedding of innocent blood, the taking of human life created in the image of God? If you say you are prolife, your answer must be yes. (Please do not redefine the meaning of the word prolife and say "I'm prolife" if you're really not.)

So, is the candidate’s stand on the issue of shedding innocent blood important enough to disqualify him as a candidate? Yes. While a single issue can’t qualify a candidate, it can disqualify him. In my opinion, this issue clearly disqualifies Barack Obama, just as it disqualified Republican Rudy Giuliani.

I don’t think someone is a good candidate just because he is prolife. But he cannot be a good candidate unless he is prolife. Personally, if he is committed to legalized child-killing, as a matter of conscience I must vote against him.

A. Gillispie 7:17 PM  

Kim (His Hands His Feet),

If you read my blog, you know that I originally decided to vote for McCain for the EXACT reason you quoted. I said I could not vote for a candidate that is pro-choice because to me it was THE defining issue. And yet, I couldn't find peace. I cannot just look at one issue anymore. *I* can't. It's obvious that lots do. I don't agree with lots that I hear McCain/Palin say. And I'm talking about issues that preserve and protect human life. I cannot say an unborn child is more important than a born person. They are equally important to me. I think Christ probably hates some viewpoints of both candidates.

And I say again, I AM NOT PRO-CHOICE just because I choose to vote for Obama. Someone just left a really thoughtful comment on the "Floppy Fish" post. A pro-choice comment. I am one that would rather a mother die than she abort her child. I am one that would rather die than abort my child. I would. I'm also someone who has had someone very close to me choose abortion. We have all sinned and fallen short. She is no less loved than I am. Her sin is no more potent than mine.

Whatever your beliefs are, whomever you are going to vote for, I think that Christians are doing the Kingdom of Christ a disservice if we decide to only care about one issue. I believe that Christ cares about all of them.
Anita

mabmd 7:42 PM  

Anita,
I am SO sorry that people have been judgemental. I so agree with Sean and Stacy -- much of what is being discussed is really about a person's personal conversation with/relationship with the Lord.The criticism, unfortunately a part of living in the world! Being thought of as controversial only means that your head is not in the sand: You are raising a multicultural family in world where racism and bigotry persist, where we're spending billions on war, and destroying our environment and we don't have basic healthcare for millions and inadequate education for many.

"His hands his feet today" warns against re-defining the term "prolife." I believe it is more than possible to answer "YES" to both of those questions, yet still question whether God would want us to allow women to die from illegal abortions.(Are poor women who have made poor choices OK for us to judge?) I can answer yes, yet still have difficulty reconciling the other moral issues we as Americans are grappling with.

I don't want to go off into another rant (sorry again), so i better stop there. But PLEASE Anita, don't be discouraged; keep on praying and keep on blogging!

KG 7:46 PM  

I'm guessing a bit of the backlash you've felt from your comments is similar to what non-Christians (who still have values! - just not always those of the evangelical community) experience at the hands of some very judgmental Christians all the time. I find it interesting that those who choose to express themselves so hatefully are the ones turning people off to the religion the are so vehemently trying to promote. If they don't see themselves as a walking contradiction (message of love spread through ugly words and judgments), those in the non-Christian community sure do, and we give them wide berth.

Kali (Who was raised Christian and has nothing against the church as a whole - just those who use it as a mandate to divide the world into us/them, good/bad.)

Renee 8:10 PM  

Awww (((Anita)))

I know you know this, but reading this post reminds me of Colossians 3:23

And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;

God has a purpose for you and your family. Seek Him and follow Him. His ways are truly best.

There are people who love the Lord and are voting for Obama and their are people who love the Lord who are voting for McCain.

The truth is neither of these men can impact the Kingdom of God as much as Believers' living for Jesus. Jesus never involved Himself in the politics of His day. That is because He knew the most important thing that would TRULY change the world was the Gospel.

I am thankful and blessed to live in the US and to have the freedom to vote. I believe though that I need to be careful not to put my hope in any political figure but in the One who can truly bring change to a lost and dying and hurting world.

I am sure Jesus is grieved over the fussing between Christians during this election. Healthy debate is good, but when it gets personal and ugly is when I am reminded how Scripture teaches against stirring up strife among the brethren.

I praise God that no matter the result of the election Jesus will be on the throne.

We have done many things during the Halloween Season. This year one evning we helped with our church's trunk or treat and last night we gave out candy with Gospel tracts and wooden crosses at our home. The Lord has led us to different things different years. Praise God for not being a cookie cutter God!

Bless you for following the Lord's lead and bless you for being so open.

A. Gillispie 8:57 PM  

Renee,
Thank you for not judging me. Thank you for showing love like Christ would. Your words touched me so deeply. When I grow up I want to be as wise in the Lord as you are.
Anita

Laurel 9:06 PM  

Oh Anita,

I am so glad that you wrote that note here about my comment. I read this post, and went back and read all of the comments and thought, "I was the only one that said I didn't do Halloween." So, I thought that somehow you had misconstrued my response. Seriously, our closest friends celebrate Halloween, and it doesn't bother me at all.

I was horrified that I might be one of the "ultra-conservative" Christians that had offended you so deeply. Whew! Glad I wasn't. I try so hard to share what we believe God has for our family, but not to put that on anyone else. Like ..

Just because God called us to have 13 children, doesn't mean we think everyone should have extra-large families.

Just because God called us to homeschool, doesn't mean we believe everyone should homeschool.

Just because we don't celebrate Halloween ...

Just because we are voting for McCain ...

I find it rather interesting that your biggest detractors couldn't/wouldn't write their notes to you publicly. But rather chose to write to you privately. I say ... Let's Chat about this (and be respectful) ... that's the great thing about blogs.

Love ya, and so appreciate ALL that you do.

Laurel

Bingaling 9:15 PM  

So sorry, Anita...

It is so disheartening to hear of people feeling judged because of their vote.

Your vote is YOUR vote. You are the only one who needs to feel peace about your vote. No political candidate (or party) is perfect. In this great country, we have the priviledge (and civic duty) to cast our vote for the person we feel is the best candidate, given our options.

As far as I can tell, God has not yet given his endorsement for either candidate. Its up to us to prayerfully sort it out for ourselves.

And I'm with you...when I grow up I want to be as wise as Renee (and as diplomatic).
Chanda

PS...so glad you had a great Halloween with your kiddos. Regardless of how people feel about Halloween, it is obvious that your family created great memories last night as a family - and THAT is the most important thing.

ManyBlessings 9:36 PM  

God bless the USA, where we are FREE to speak our minds and cast our votes.

Amen? :)

dawn

Amy 9:59 PM  

What could I add that hasn't been said? Nothing really, but I can let you know that I support you and appreciate you confronting this issue. Sadly, it is those that judge that limit the acceptance of Jesus, in my opinion. It is His love and acceptance of all people that can reach out to those that have not received Him in their hearts. Finger shaking and chastising have never been good teachers...

Amy Fabu

Awo 10:36 PM  

Hi, Anita. Wow. Let me say up front that I am a Christian and I love the Lord more than I could ever express in words.

Full disclosure - I am an Obama supporter. We won't have a perfect candidate unless Jesus runs for office, but I have never for one minute thought of voting for McCain. And the thought of voting for Sarah Palin for Vice-President confuses me.

I am anti-abortion, but I do not cast my vote on the abortion issue alone. I think we do more to prevent abortions by reaching people to love themselves and love Jesus than we can by passing laws. Besides, if we truly believe that life is sacred, then I believe more Christians should be anti-death penalty. The availability of DNA testing is showing that our broken criminal justice system has condemed too many completely innocent people to death. I also believe that the economic and raical disparities even between people who have actually committed crimes make the death penalty as applied in our society unjust and immoral.

I am a registered Independent who has voted for both Democrats and Republicans. But I can not for the life of me understand why some folks equate being a Christian with being a member of a certain political party. My experience of the intersection of my faith and my politics is completely different from how you describe the negative comments you received. I suspect that's because I come from a different background and have different experiences. If being an Obama supporter makes you less of a Christian, then Black Christians are REALLY in trouble! Or maybe we're not really Christians because we don't look like or have the same political beliefs as the vast majority of people who attended the Republican National Convention.

Gettting away from the political, I have been dismayed at what the tone of this election reveals about the deep divisions in our country. Particularly the deep racial divisions. Whatver you think of his policies, I believe that the reason the characterization of Obama as "not like us" resonates with some is because of the racial undertones.

I wonder how families who have adopted transracially talk about the first Black presidential nominee to their Black children - particularly to their Black sons. I pray that it is not with misinformation, fear or disrespect.

Thank you for posting your honest thoughts. It gives me hope that there's room for diversity in the world of international adoption!
Awo

mary grace 2:39 PM  

Anita,
Now ... where did I hear that comment about the world hating those who walk in the name of Jesus? Oh, yeah ... from the guy who was crucified by the religious leaders of his day. :-)

Praising God that neither you nor I is a finished work in the eyes of our Lord ... and yet He loves us still.