In Defense of My Faith 8 comments

In Defense of My Faith Banner {Living Outside the Stacks}

A few years ago, I wrote a post about religious civility and the lack of respect that some people show towards people of faith, specifically towards Christians. The post was a reaction to some of the things that a few of my friends and acquaintances had posted over Easter weekend.

I honestly hadn’t planned to address the issue again but after seeing the same recycled “jokes” this past weekend, I realized two things:

  • The Bible says if I deny Jesus here on earth, He’ll deny me in Heaven {Matthew 10:33}
  • The comments and jokes are hurtful and rude, and instead of letting it fester, I need to get it out of my system

I know that much of the animosity towards Christians stems from the vitriolic actions of a few. But understand this: my love for Christ isn’t based on the condemnation of others but on the free {and sacrificial} gift of His love for me {John 3:16 and John 15:13}.

When I was in the Army and we went through sexual harassment training, one of the speakers said something that stuck with me: “Nothing is wrong until you say it’s wrong.” Meaning the initial responsibility for protecting my body, my heart, my spirit begins with me. People may not know they’re being offensive until it’s pointed out. So I’m pointing it out: calling my Lord and Savior out of His name is offensive and hurtful.

I know that we may not share the same religious beliefs and you may not understand why I believe what I do, but that doesn’t give you the right to be mean or dismissive. I may not agree with your beliefs but you’ll never hear me say anything that would grieve your heart.

Writing this post may cause me to lose some friends and I’m OK with that. Just know that I care for you and I always will. I’ll miss you and will always respect you. And, yes, I’ll even pray for you, because that’s what friends do {1 Thessalonians 5:11}.

But, ultimately, this is about my relationship with Christ and I never want to be in a position where He can say “Depart from me, I never knew you…” {Matthew 7:23}. I love my Lord and Savior and it is His approval that I desire.

Daenel T

  • I think we just live in a society where people think they can just come out of their mouths being rude and disrespectful just for the heck of it. And that’s sad. I have friends who of different religious beliefs and some who don’t believe anything at all and I love that we’ve all been able to respect each other in that area and can’t for the life of me understand why others can do the same. I’m not so uptight that I can’t appreciate a good religious joke, but there’s just a line you don’t cross.

    There’s a point where jokes can go from being funny but still have a message to just being downright nasty and attacking towards a particular religious group. You definitely have to let people know when they’re crossed that line and that you were offended. Hopefully, whomever posted and those who reposted will think twice before continuing to share it.

    • You hit the nail on the head. I don’t know if it’s because people have become emboldened because most of what they say happens behind the security of a keyboard or what, but it’s getting out of control.

      It really goes back to one of the first lessons we learned in kindergarten: if you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all.

  • a stylish little lady

    amen to that! people should have respect for what they do not understand and educate themselves to the unknown.

    • Exactly. There’s so much that people say that I don’t agree with but I don’t make light of it or denigrate it. I either take the time to learn more or I pass it by. Now, if they ask my opinion, I would offer it in a respectful manner. Being mean accomplishes nothing.

  • I certainly see where you are coming from. As a former Catholic, current atheist, I certainly see both sides of this issue. I’m not sure what hurtful jokes were said, so I’m not sure what to say. I suppose not all atheists are the same… just as not all Christians are the same.

    I personally try my best to live by “Wheaton’s Law” – simply “Don’t be a d”. Perhaps if a few more people simply did that, we wouldn’t even be reading this post today. :/

    • The jokes were mean spirited and made light of the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. It’s just feels like every year, people (now I’m including the media as a whole) try to see who can be the most offensive.

      The fact that these incidents involved people that I care about only made it more hurtful. Especially since they know my values and beliefs. Which, of course, leads to the whole “if they’re really your friends….”

      I just wish people would understand that tolerance goes both ways.

  • Colette

    AMEN! No other religious group would you to speak of their “leader” in such low regard as Christians. The insatiable outcry for justice would be unquenched if even the name of certain religious sects were spoken. Even those with ties to unspeakable atrocities.
    I too, have a phrase that stuck with me all these years spoken by my high school US Government teacher, Mr. Enbreckt (sbc). “Your rights end where mine begin”.

    • Yes. It just burns me up. But I think even more than that I was growing frustrated with my own silence. I believe that silence is compliance.

      And, yep, I remember Mr. Engbrecht saying that too.