Monday, May 9, 2011
That I'd rather stand for something positive than against something negative
I've noticed that Face Book and the Internet have been full of Christian warnings to avoid playing this computer game, watching that movie, wearing these clothes or going to those places. It makes me sad when I hear confused reports of people who honestly can't understand why others seem to want to spread a sour cloak of judgment and disapproval over things which never occurred to them as harmful.
I've been the butt of rigid, condemnatory words. I was selling my "Quenarden" series* at a market, when an elderly woman stepped over to have a browse. The conversation went something like this.
Paula: Hello, do you have any grandchildren who like to read adventure stories?
Christian Lady: I do have grandchildren but they certainly wouldn't be interested in this sort of twaddle! We're Christians. That may sound frank but one day, if you come to your senses, you'll understand that filling innocent children's heads with wicked, fanciful nonsense is what helps make the world into such a melting pot of evil and sin.
Paula: But I'm a Christian too.
Christian Lady: That's what you think, dear.
She didn't give me a chance to explain that I take my own Christian values very seriously; that I wanted to praise God through my series and fill it with symbolism that pointed to Him; that I never started anything without plenty of prayer. I wonder if she would have bothered to consider my explanation if I tried. That made me shy away from anything that seems remotely censorious in an attacking, 'holier-than-thou' sort of spirit. It's the sort of encounter that I can understand would make a genuine seeker of truth want to turn and flee at the mention of the word "Christian" in future.
I like this story. Whenever Mother Teresa was asked to take place in any 'anti-' rally (anti-war, anti-evil, anti-discrimination etc) she would politely refuse and reply, 'Invite me to a "pro-" rally next time (pro-peace, pro-goodness, pro-generosity etc) and I'll be there in a flash.' She understood that emphasising goodness rather than evil is the wiser path to take.
I'd love to see less time spent trying to battle the bad (or what we perceive as bad) and more time promoting God's love, resting with true faith in His sovereign control and displaying the fruits of His Spirit. In that way we wouldn't have as many battles to fight or demons to rebuke, for they'd turn and flee with a howl. They are not going to hang around for long where true understanding and worship of God is always going on.
* My Quenarden series is a trilogy for the 12+ age group which blends adventure, mystery, romance and a quest for the triumph over evil.