Monday, January 14, 2008

Scary -- "the land of the free"

Today, my best friend opened her front door to a social worker - investigating her because of a complaint of child abuse. My friend openly blogs about parenting and family, she counsels others in parenting, and is one of the most excellent, consistent, and loving mothers I know. In short, I wish I had even a percentage of her dedication and ability to sacrifice as she does.

What the social worker revealed, was someone who posted on a site, Ravarly, where Barbie posts, had complained about her spanking her children with a rod. For those not familiar, no my friend does not beat her children, she never hits in anger, she simply follows the sound Biblical doctrine of spanking her child. She uses a "rod" - an instrument for correction, in her case a wooden spoon. She has a set way she does this - which combines communication and consistency, love and always always the Spirit of God.

America, this is supposed to be the land of the free - not like China or Sudan or other places where Christians literally can and are killed for being Christians. Here, everyone has the freedom to worship how they see fit. Except, and I hate sounding cliche, Christians. As a liberal myself, I've never noticed how things creep in that really limit Christians in the name of good for all.

Recently, I heard a reporter on SOS Radio here in Grace City, talk about how in CA they are passing laws that prohibit "anti" gay speech - or something to that accord. I have friends who are openly gay, not only do I accept them, but I love them. Regardless of choices they make in life - regardless if I agree with them or not, that doesn't affect the friendship we have together. So I chuckled a little and didn't understand why Christians were so opposed to this - then I began to think about it more - homosexuality is a sin in the Bible, so the Bible is now an anti-gay book. I've never thought of it this way - will this limit what pastors can and cannot say from the pulpit? Will it limit what Christians can and cannot say in public (and no I am absolutely NOT talking about groups like "God Hates ....")? Will it not just protect homosexuals in schools, but even lift them up? I began thinking of all the ripples from this seemingly innocent law and it scared me.

Now, what about my friend? She worries about blogging - stop blogging and Satan wins - one less Christian out there to help those who need and/or want help, continue and put your family at risk. So what about the rest of us? I've openly admitted that motherhood is a challenge for me, that because of my own childhood I don't always know how to relate, be consistent, or just understand my kids. And I blog in a very open manner - how long before women like me, who aren't great mothers and wives and are open about it, how long before we get that knock on the door? Who is drawing these lines?

I began thinking about how all this creeps in - first, the Christian lifestyle element that is setting someone apart becomes almost taboo, then it becomes socially unacceptable, finally - it becomes illegal. Like spanking. I remember when I was a kid and they made paddling illegal in public schools how happy I was, I wanted to rub it the faces of the principal and teachers who ever paddled anyone - I didn't realize how spanking corrected me because my own mother was beating me. I couldn't see how this discipline could ever benefit my life.

Now, as I face this walk as a Christian, mother, and wife - I wonder, on the road ahead, how much more is society going to try to limit me in worshiping and obeying God? I often hear about the irrational or radical lifestyle of a Christian, but until today, I never thought of it as somewhere even remotely close to home.

I've heard stories of harassment for being a vocal Christian. A Christian friend of mine was threatened by a LDS poster with his job! Another (ex-Mormon) had their family harrased because of a website they ran on how to bypass all that sticky red tape when resigning from the LDS church. Today it's not just about having different opinions, it's about shutting people up that don't agree with you.

Here in America, we are so blinded by the "comforts" around us, by the "freedom" that we don't even notice that we're in that boiling water until we're fully cooked frog legs. Although, I've heard pastors say that we won't have a revival until we're persecuted, so perhaps, in reality, this is a good thing after all.

Gal 5:11
11 And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased.

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