Defend.

“You just need to stop!” admonished my wife.

“I can’t” I replied, a little sarcastically. Which made her stare even more ominous.

“You can’t, or you don’t want to?”

I just smiled.

“That’s what I thought” she retorted with her own sly smile.   

I guess you could say the conversation ended there. It got me thinking. I started to defend myself – to myself – why I didn’t want to stop. You see, in today’s society we communicate how we feel via social media without exposing ourselves to a conversation where we would need to explain or defend what we say person to person. 

We feel protected, invincible. 

Almost like we can post with no repercussions. With no responsibility. We post without research. (Yes, even I myself have been guilty of it). We see a headline we agree with and throw it on our feed to let people know how we may feel on a particular issue. Social media is becoming a battlefield. Sometimes I get in the mood to fight. Figuring out which battle to join is the tricky part.

The questions are, what am I defending? Why am I defending? Do I need to defend?

Of course, being a writer, it gives me material to write about. For the record, I will not hide behind my words, but I will stand. I love a great conversation. I always hope most of what I share creates conversation. 

Civil conversation.

On social media, there are often times when comments are replied to with vulgarity. Most times comments are started the same way. You can’t have constructive, thoughtful, meaningful conversations if they are filled with vulgarity. In some cases, when a conversation or a post is political, it becomes an argument which turns rude, tasteless, offensive, or crude. (All which are synonyms for vulgar). It seems we feel freer to spew derogatory words because we are protected by a computer screen and a keyboard.

Would most people talk in a public forum, or even face to face, with such brashness? I wonder.

Don’t get me wrong. I sometimes like to stir the pot, in hopes of things being added to the pot. I try to stay neutral, to a point. It’s when specific points are broached, I feel the need to defend. Not with vulgarity. I do my best to have stimulating conversation. I can’t just sit back after it reaches a point I feel a need to defend. That’s when the advice of my wife rings in my head. 

But I don’t want to. I can’t. 

Most times things are taken out of context, supporting or defending the quandary they choose to be a part of. One such hot issue is immigration. First let me say, I have no problem with immigrants. Yes, I understand most of our parents where immigrants. I do believe we should allow immigrants to try and find a better way of life if they choose to do it here. I believe most everyone on this issue feels the same way. The problem I have is when the word Christian is thrown out there as a means of allowing anybody free access. It’s the Christian thing to do. (Yes). We are a Christian nation (Yes). We should help those in need (Yes).

I am on board with allowing all those things. However…

When someone asks me, “You’re a Christian. Why are you against helping immigrants?”  Yes I am a Christian. I claim Jesus as my Savior. I have asked Him to be Lord of my life. I am trusting in Him and Him alone for my salvation.  With those things it also means I believe the Bible to be the inerrant word of God; a guide to how I should live my life and conduct myself. So, when someone plays the Christian card I usually go to scripture if I decide to join the quandary. Often times that’s when the conversation takes a turn. As it will probably be debated or vilified or completely ignored, the response from some will be, “that’s your interpretation.” 

Ok.

This passage is from the NIV Bible. I have not added or taken away anything, so this is not my interpretation. 

Book of Romans Chapter 11: 1-7 1 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 

2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 

3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 

4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 

5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. 

6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. 

7 Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

For those who feel God put Trump in office you’re right, according to this scripture passage. 

It also means whatever previous administration held office; they also were allowed by God. We can all celebrate when our party wins. Just remember when it doesn’t, God also placed them in office. In short, we need to obey the authority we are under. Which means if there are laws in place to deal with immigration, they should be upheld. As a country, as citizens, we should follow the laws placed over us. 

So, as stated earlier, I am all for people coming to this great country. I just feel it should be done the right way. We should obey, be governed, uphold the laws those in authority have placed over our nation. Because, according to the scripture passage, all authority is given by God. I didn’t say that, God said that.

Unless our government forces us to disobey scripture, we need to follow the laws of the land. There are several hot topics people usually play with the “Christian card.” When put in play it should always match the character of God. If not, then it’s a wrong move. Now there will be some who will stress and argue the Bible is archaic. It shouldn’t be used in today’s world. Well in the book of Hebrews 13:8 we are told, Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and foreverthe same Jesus who admonished us to be governed under the laws we have, is the same Jesus who never changes. Which means His teachings are still relevant today. 

I could go on and on. When God, or Christian beliefs are misrepresented I feel the need to defend. Though He doesn’t need me to, I want to defend the Bible, Jesus Christ, and God. I want people to know the love God has for all. With the arguing going on in social media, it’s no wonder there is so much division. Dealing with truth can be cumbersome. Whose truth are you going to believe?  For me? I will always stand on a truth that has no errors. A truth without change.  

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