Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Should we...just because we can?

It's obvious to most of you who are reading this post that I haven't published here at this blog in over a year. The last two years have been difficult to say the least. I had severe heart issues and then we made two moves. I didn't feel that God was asking me to write here, this last year. It has set on my sidebar, and I know many have visited and asked me when I would start posting again... I wasn't sure if I would. I didn't feel the call to do that until this last week.

source google images

God has been nudging me to write this post for this whole last week. I have been putting it off, hoping His promptings would let up, but they haven't. There is so much to say on the topic of the Paris murders at Charlie Hebdo, and the terrorist violence that has subsequently erupted. I don't want to "stir the pot" so to speak, but I think as a Christian, there is a viewpoint that needs to be discussed.

First let me say, I understand the concept of Free Speech, and yes, even "Satire". I understand the importance of being able to speak our thoughts and feelings concerning our government and our beliefs on religion, marriage, and personal rights and liberties etc. I know as a Democracy, our country was founded on the ability to freely speak and not be hauled into jail if we have a differing opinion than the government, the status quo, or even the "majority" in society. Having said that, I feel like we need to take a look at what the Bible says about "the match" that lit this current firestorm.

In the writings of Paul, this verse has been on my heart all week:
1 Corinthians 10:23

Revised Standard Version
"All things are lawful," but not all things are helpful. "All things are lawful," but not all things build up.

American Standard Version

All things are lawful; but not all things are expedient. All things are lawful; but not all things edify.

New American Standard Version

All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify.

Other words that we might use to finish this sentence would be. "...not all things are beneficial, fruitful, useful, helpful, generous, gracious, kind, considerate, constructive, positive, productive, etc.

We might be within the legal limits to: express our opinions in a public forum, make accusations toward others, denounce other religions, expose ideologies, even depict leaders, religious figures, and yes, even God in a way that is unbecoming, derogatory, and subversive. We may have the legal right to do these things, but is it going to do anything beneficial, or will it be like pouring gas on already smoldering embers.

The Bible tells us again in Roman 12:16 to "live in harmony (peace) with each other". I'm not saying we have to agree or approve of other religions, beliefs, or ways of life, but if we know there is a problem, why go out of our way to cause more of a problem. It states in Islam and is known that no depiction should be made of the prophet Mohammad. I get that. Personally, I don't want anyone making cartoons of Jesus in a derogatory fashion. So in turn we should not be depicting anyone else's religious figures in a way that's inflammatory. I know that in a Democracy we have that right to say, write, publish anything we want...but at the same time we also know that exercising some of those same rights may start controversies, arguments, distrust, hurt, and yes, even wars.

I know that France is not a particularly "religious" country. I heard one TV commentator say that even school children could not wear a cross to public school, so that they were not just coming down on Islam; that France didn't "favor" any official religion. Early on after the first attack another TV news host, asked the hypothetical question: "just because we can...should we?" That question was steamrollered and ignored. This particular young man, voiced a wise truth, but in the heat of defending the rights of the cartoonists, there was no discussion. 

Why would you go into a bull pen and wave a red scarf in front of a bull?
Why would someone go to Ferguson, Missouri and get a soapbox in the center of town and start yelling the "N" word?
Why would an American film corporation deliberately cause controversy in making a film depicting a plot to murder a leader of a country that already is unstable in thought and actions?
Why would anyone put themselves in the midst of controversy and then deliberately poke another "person" in the eye?

As Christians, we should know that hurling insults and "poking fun" does no good. It puts tension on already strained relationships and builds barriers instead of good will. The beliefs and ideology of a radicalized Islam or any other religion, will not be changed with anything other than God's divine intervention, and the prayers of His people. Purposefully printing rude, degrading, and lewd cartoons (even in the name of "freedom of speech") just incites anger and hate. Members of radical religious sects feel the need to avenge their wronged prophet; there's no laughing it off in their camp.

I believe in the uniting of countries and people against any and all brands of terrorism and murderers. That is not the subject of this blog post. I just think we need to be mindful of the consequences that might come about when we purposefully ignore good will and a little common sense. This question has been asked of me, and so to the world...
When does a personal "Liberty" become a national "Liability"?

I want to make it clear I in no way condone the brutal killings and terrorism that started at Charlie Hebdo. I don't feel that they in any way "deserved" what happened because of their choices or Religion. I have the same grief and bond that was evident in the public marches in Paris and throughout France and Europe. We need to stand strong and united against any and all forms of terrorism. 

      love in Jesus,


  1. Beautifully stated, totally agree with you.

  2. You make very thoughtful and good points. On the other hand...
    I've been reading The Jesus I Never Knew by Yancey this winter. He suggests that Jesus certainly didn't shy away from poking those who needed it---which created a lot of hate and discontent---so it is a complex issue. Satire serves a specific purpose in society, whether we enjoy it or not. But you made good points and wisdom doesn't come easily on some of these issues.Thank you for sharing, Debra. Good to see you back. God Bless, jw

  3. Thank you for writing what Christians around the world should be writing. I have read only a couple of blogposts addressing this situation from a similar point of view to yours, but none of them did it as well as you, Debra. Je ne suis pas Charlie! Je suis Linda. My father always taught me that if you can't say anything nice about someone, then don't say anything at all. Linda@Wetcreek Blog

  4. I couldn't agree more, Debra...very well said.

  5. Thanks for this Debra. I needed to read this today. I have felt so bad for all those involved, but never really stopped and thought about it this way and as a christian I should have. Hoping you post more in the near for the soul.

  6. Your point is well taken and your writing is fabulous! I am a relatively new to your blog, and believe me...I'll looking forward to your next post!! You're something else!! I love it!

  7. Thank you so much for writing. You are speaking truth through Christ and everyone should listen. I feel the same way.

  8. Well said and I agree with you 100% we've become the society of get over it!

  9. Thank you for sharing this. You have said what has been on my mind but did not say for fear that it would offend someone at such a sensitive time. I truly thought I was the only person who felt like this. I do not consider myself religious but do not believe you should mock or belittle another humans beliefs. Thank you again.

  10. Well said and am glad you said it! It all starts with "loving your neighbour as yourself".

  11. I'm not a Christian, but i couldn't agree more.

    Hugs ~

  12. Amen and Amen, Debra! Well said! I couldn't agree with you more, and may God bless you for standing up as a strong Christian woman and stating the obvious. For some reason, society seems to think that just because they have the "right" to do something, it makes it right. I'm tired of everyone justifying their actions behind their so called "rights". When will we ever learn that sometimes it's just plain smart to keep our mouth shut...? Great writing, Debra!

    xoxo laurie

  13. Thank you Debra, this goes for by faith and scripture to the actions we take against each other in our daily lives.
    And the obedience we show God and the blessings we receive for doing so.
    Oh Debra this was perfect timing, and so happy God stepped in and guided you to post.
    Amen, amen bring it on.

    Prayers for mankind, blessings for the obedient .
    Living by faith and example.

    We are so blessed that your heart surgeries were of success, to then be able to continue to read his word.


  14. I had many of the same thoughts. Good post and great for you speaking out.

  15. Ironically for living in such a PC society civility is at an all time low. What would have been considered vulgar and in poor taste is now embraced. Having said that and feeling this way for years, I believe this problem is much worse. No I don't like mean spirited entertainment but I think this is just an excuse to kill. This has no more to do with religion than a stalker as to do with loving their victim. It's sick and evil.

  16. Thank you Debra!
    The people that protested here in Boston yesterday should read this post. Such a waste of time and energy.
    My son is traveling home from Italy through Paris today and I can't wait for him to arrive home safely from abroad and in our own back yard!
    Thank you again!

  17. Wise words very sweetly said. Eisenhower said, "A people that values it's privileges above its principles soon loses both."

  18. Dearest Debra, I hope you're doing well. Thank you for answering God's call to post again. I have been absent from "blogland" for nearly 3 years now. In the past few years I've suffered two great losses, several moves, and have been dealing with several health issues of my own. But God is good, Amen?
    I just happened to be home from work and checked my blog feed and (by no coincidence) it led me to your post. It is SO good to hear from a like minded heart. I've been saying "just because you can, doesn't mean you should" for years when it come to free speech. The world will keep experiencing the tragic consequences of lacking God's wisdom. It's heartbreaking.
    I will make it a point to check in often, I really love to hear what's on your heart, you say it so eloquently.
    Blessings to you~

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  20. Well said. Thank you even though I'm reading this late.


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