For example, I know many things in Operation Rescue could easily be judged. Pro-life protesters participated in peaceful sit-ins in front of abortion clinics to block access to the doors (an illegal activity). They sang and prayed. After some time, Operation Rescue disbanded, due partially to some dubious dealings in the leadership.
There is plenty to judge. After all, they broke the law; shouldn't Christians obey the law? Furthermore, aren’t there legal ways to combat the abortion? And wasn’t there some problems with the leadership?
Accepting the Risk
But the crux of the issue comes to this--they did something. Whether it was right or wrong or both at the same time, they did something they believed was right, prompted by their desire to do what they knew to be right. Because most were Christian, they were goaded by their need to defend life because God Himself defends life.
They risked. They did something that literally put their health, their finances, their reputations, and their ability to provide for their families on the line. (I am not exaggerating. I have personally viewed video evidence of abuse and other crimes perpetrated by authorities against the protestors.)
An eyewitness once told me that the NYC police came to the scene to arrest the protesters. To the surprise of all, one officer took off his badge and sat with the protesters. Since I heard that story, I have wondered: What did that man give up to silently proclaim the value of human life?
To this day, many protesters suffer the consequences of their stance. Some are legally barred from ever holding a job again; they live off the generosity of friends and family members. Some can’t put their arms around their children or spouses without pain from past abuses. Some look twenty years older than they are. Some women have memories of miscarriages because of their mistreatment by police.
What Are We?
Many Christians today judge them for their actions. But often the Christians who judge are the ones who give money or pray occasionally, but do little themselves and risk almost nothing.
If we do little, there will be little to judge, and if we do much, there will be much to judge. If we are not willing to risk as much ourselves, in our own way, in our own battles, for the God we claim to serve, what are we?
God calls us to different battles, but He does not call us to no battle at all. As Dietrich Bonhoffer said, "When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die."
If there was any wrong in what those in Operation Rescue did, I pray God will forgive them, but as long as I live I will be ashamed of myself if I do not risk as much and more for my God.
So true, Yaasha. It's tough to not judge another and their method to minister, but Romans 14:4 reminds us, "Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up, for God is able to make him stand." (there is a whole passage about judging others' ministry somewhere in Paul's letters . . .) There is a fine line between Biblical judgment and human judgment. In instances like these, it is not our responsibility to judge and proclaim their wrong (unless they are clearly violating Scripture) - instead, we still stand before God with our actions. What am I doing for Him? Am I just loudly voicing my opinions? or actually getting out there and working?
10/1/2014 01:50:38 am
Great verse from Romans! I find I have to constantly remind myself of this concept as well--I'm certainly not exempt from the temptation to judge others!
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None of my life has gone the way it was "supposed to go," but I don't love my life any less because of the hardships and new directions. I see so much unexpected good in it, and I want others to see the good in theirs.