I Wonder Why

I Wonder Why November 5, 2012

I wonder why it is that Believers are willing to speak out about this:



And yet remain silent about this:

Why do pastors speak out about this?

Yet remain silent about this?

If it is true that children are precious in His sight as we are taught in church

Then, why, oh, why is this church silent on this?

If Christ’s gift to us is peace

 Then why do we so often let our fears propel us to this?

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  • Karen, I think very highly of you and all, and respect your right to have differing opinions on various issues, but when you say things that I perceive as flat-out false (as opposed to having a differing opinion) then I’m going to say something. And I think this post is full of falsehoods.
    1. Comparing death by abortion to death by smoking-related disease is an apples/oranges comparison. 100% of the kids who die in an abortion did not engage in any habit which led to their demise. (This is not meant to be insensitive to the current place your mom finds herself in. I have also lost people I loved very much to lung cancer and to emphysema. But to some extent, smokers made choices which lead to their condition, and no aborted baby has ever done so.)
    2. Your post implies that Christians aren’t denouncing smoking. This is simply not true. I grew up in a Christian home and environment, and I heard about the evils of smoking all my life. I have not noticed this silence of which you speak.
    3. Same with adultery. How in the world do you conclude that Christians are silent when it comes to adultery?
    4. While you have done a great job of exposing churches who have gone silent with it comes to child abuse, I disagree with your assertion that the Church as a whole is silent about it.

    • RE: Abortion vs. Smoking. I have never once witnessed a group protesting outside a Tobacco Shop holding up signs of a diseased lung. Most people who smoke — as was the case with my mother — began in their early teens. Are these not children, too? Historically targeted specifically by multi-million advertising campaigns serving the very purpose of getting teens to smoke? And btw: I have never ever heard a sermon taking a stand against smoking. Have you?

      RE:While it is true I have heard adultery denounced in the pulpit it was most often aimed at the wayward women of the Bible (Woman at the Well) and not at men. And never have I heard adultery condemned with the same vehemence that I have heard same-sex marriage condemned. Never has anyone said to me God is going to punish America because of the adultery of Believers. But I have heard many say God is punishing America because of all the homosexuals.

      RE: Child abuse. Been in church all my life. Never once heard a sermon on the wrongs of child abuse. Never even heard it mentioned within the hallways of a church. Where are the protesters standing on the steps of Congress with photos of abused children displayed. Or is it only the aborted babies we care about and not the ones living?

      • If your criteria is only about sermons and protests, then your points are somewhat more valid. Although I have heard them mentioned in sermons, they are generally not the main topic. But Christians have a lot more ways of conveying their views than simply what’s said from a pulpit or on a courthouse step.
        I continue to dispute your adultery point, though. Maybe it’s because I’ve been to many a men’s retreat/men’s breakfast meeting/men’s events than you have, but the message sent to men in my adult life has been very strongly against the dangers of straying, both in deed and in thought. These messages have urged men to not only not do these things, but have encouraged us from even allowing ourselves into positions where we could allow the possibility of such things.
        As for homosexuality, I have heard this point for years: that evangelicals are focused on one sin above others. On one hand, I agree; it is a sad indictment that that has become such a priority for many of us. On the other hand, I disagree with the conclusion that many people come to after they make that point: they often decide to accept homosexuality as not sinful at all, and it’s my take that that position’s just as unsound as the first one is.

        • James: I concede. I have never in my life been to a man’s retreat. You all must be talking about something there because you never come home with any handmade crafts.

          • John I.

            Thanks for your dump on Christians lesson based on anecdotes. Why should I believe that your anecdotes are more representative of the facts than James? Neither of you present any evidence to substantiate your assertions. If the current rule for this topic is to generalize one’s anecdotal experiences to caste the wider church in the same light, then I’ll chime in with the fact that I have heard much more about the evils of smoking and drinking than I ever have about abortion; and much more about adultery than about homosexuality, and much more about peace and nonviolence than about going to war. Silence on child abuse? True, never heard anything about it but it always seemed to me that it was understood that such horrible deeds are wrong and should be opposed and that harmed children should be cared for. I really don’t think that sermons on the evils of child abuse are necessary when nobody believes that child abuse is good and only the smallest fraction of christians would ever engage in it (unless you live in some warped Christian enclave wihere it’s common). It’s not like the sins of greed, sloth, gossip, anger, fighting, etc. which continue to plague congregations. Christians that I know who come across child abuse do something about it.

            What I find particularly offensive is for Karen to mention Christ “If Christ’s gift to us is peace” and then state ” Then why do we so often let our fears propel us to this?” Who is the “we”? Christians? It seems that she means either them alone or them as complicit in.

            war deaths. Speak for yourself. I never heard, and do not now hear, justifications for war from any pulpits I’ve heard sermons from nor have the churches I’ve been involved with condoned war and violence because of fear or for any other reason.

            If Karen thinks that her statements are characteristic of Christians, she should start hanging out with different ones, because none of the statements would be true of any Christians that I know personally.

            Since it’s all about anecdotes, mine are as good as anyones, and I think other people should chime in about their experiences in some sliver of the greater Christian world.

            I’ve seen the sort of contrasts made by Karen in the post before and am still not impressed by the pseudo-drama of the alleged hypocrisy as if they reveal some starting insight that others miss and for which we should all feel guilty and fall all over ourselves atoning for.

  • Karen – It is the age old propensity of church folks to pick and choose which sins they are going to condemn and it always leans toward overlooking their own while condemning others. We got it backwards and should be judging ourselves and loving others.

  • AFRoger

    Without revisiting the questions that James has addressed, I’ll offer my general conlusions re human nature. Like some of the software we use daily or hourly, we have our own default postitions. These are the patterns we revert to or cling to, unless compelled kicking and screaming to do otherwise.
    Default 1. We choose the path of least resistance. It is much easier to judge someone than to help someone. It is easier to blame than to know. It is easier to ignore than to assist. It is easier to talk about something than to do something. It is easier to have opinions than to acquire knowledge and distill it into wisdom based on experience.
    Default 2. If we can get by without God, or put ourselves in God’s place, we will do so. Self-justification and self-righteousness allow us to focus on “sins”, as opposed to the whole enchilada of Sin. If we can confine our understanding of sin to deeds or conditions that we have declared ourselves not guilty of, then we are free to focus on obvious misdeeds of others. We really do like the “Jesus plus” formula for salvation. That is, Jesus just fills in the gaps we haven’t quite gotten to on our own. Jesus plus my own self-righteousness. Still a lie, still a widlly popular default formula of salvation.
    Default 3. We prefer the currency of one-sided coins. That is, we focus entirely of sins of commission and completely blow off sins omission. We fixate on things done so that we can turn blind eyes and deaf ears to what has been left undone. That’s my take. Perhaps readers could do an informal poll over the next month. Listen to the prayers said in church and among friends. How many ask forgiveness for sins of commission? How many ask forgiveness for sins of omission? Any?
    I’ve spent a lot of time in recent months in the wailings and questions of Lamentations, then the incredible good news of Second Isaiah. Why Israel’s punishment and captivity? 1) idolatry and 2) failure to do justice (which involves more than handouts to the poor and powerless; it calls for structural reforms ). No news there. Jesus reiterates the ancient and unchanged formula in Mark 12:28-34: love God, love neighbor. The teacher of the law who questions Jesus adds affirmation, then goes on to state that love of God and neighbor are more important than burnt offerings and scrifices–precisely the business of the temple. Jesus says the teacher of the law is “not far from the kingdom of God”, a formal way of saying, “Yes, my friend, that just about nails it.” Amen.
    What other defaults do others see? Any?

  • Margaret

    some of the pictures make my heart wrench–thanks for this challenge today

  • Sharon O

    Good questions and truth,