Love wins

A recent article caught my eye: “Evangelicals claim right to intolerance”

Ruth Malhotra and Orit Sklar, students at the Georgia Institute of Technology, have filed suit demanding that the university revoke its tolerance policy regarding gay and lesbian students. It appears Malhotra considers GT’s tolerance policies an affront to her evangelical Christianity. The lawsuit is the latest controversy for Malhotra, who has locked horns with administration over this issue several times in the past. Her outspoken beliefs led her to craft a letter to Pride Alliance, a campus gay-rights group, in the fall of 2004. In the letter, Malhotra bashed Pride Alliance as a “sex club…that can’t even manage to be tasteful.” The article notes that Malhotra’s lawsuit is part of a growing campaign to force universities and workplaces to eliminate tolerance policies for gay and lesbian individuals.

This story is sure to cause a stir among conservative Christians. Homosexuality is a hot button issue in evangelical circles,
especially in light of its divisive effect on the Episcopal church. And while I believe Scripture is clear with regard to the morality of homosexuality, my heart hurts as I read this story. Aren’t Christians called to be the most tolerant people of all? I understand that we need to take a stand against sin and all, but since when do we need to take a stand against other people? Do such tactics truly embody the way of Christ?

My take? Although I can’t comment on their motives, I believe the actions of these ladies are doing far more damage than good. They are, in effect, impairing a credible witness to Christ for an entire demographic of the GT campus. A good friend of mine once said this, and it’s become something of a personal mantra for me over the past few months: I’d rather be guilty of loving too much than loving too little. It’s hard for me to see any love in the actions of Ruth Malhotra and Orit Sklar.

I can articulate a formidable doctrine, an unassailable defense of my faith, rooted in biblical truth, but if my words lack love, they are empty.

I can feed the hungry, clothe the poor and assist the afflicted, but if my motives lack love, my actions are meaningless.

Love is tolerant, love is deferential.

Love is bearing one another in all things.

Love does not argue; love never protests.

Love respects; love responds.

Love absorbs; love absolves.

Love is forgetting more and remembering less.

Love is constant.

Love is hopeful.

Love is the eternal way.

Love is the only way.

Love wins.

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39 Responses to Love wins

  1. scott says:

    Great stuff. You know it’s interesting we, as Christians, have talked for so long about how we need to stand up for our rights, our beliefs, against sin, etc.But Jesus talks about standing up for people, for the forgotten and the outcast.It seems to me that we need to be laying down our rights, laying down our freedoms and picking up the cross.

  2. scott says:

    By the way, I notice you are listening to the new Springsteen. Incredible. You must add the new Mark Knopfler/Emmylou Harris Disc to your player.

  3. Jason says:

    The new Springsteen is phenomenal. A recommended-listening blog is forthcoming.I noticed you were listening to Knopfler and Harris. I’ll give it a spin.I think we’re programmed, from an early age, to respond in certain ways to certain issues without fully realizing the implications of our actions. Somewhere along the way, we adopt this militant, “stand up for my Christian rights” attitude. In the article I cited, Rev. Rick Scarborough is quoted as saying, “Christians are going to have to take a stand for the right to be Christian.” He says this is the civil rights battle of the 21st century.But here’s the thing: I don’t want to battle. I don’t want to fight. I don’t want to protest. That’s not my calling. My calling is to model the goodness of the One whose image I bear. My calling is to love and respect others, in spite of our differences. Will Ruth Malhotra’s lawsuit cause any homosexual on GT’s campus to come to know Christ? Isn’t that the only “battle” worth waging?

  4. mike the eyeguy says:

    Jason–For the record, Orit Sklar is Jewish. So for her at least, this is not about “impairing a credible witness to Christ.” Also, I’d be careful of taking what is ostensibly offered as a news story but starts out with an editorializing remark such as “Ruth Malhotra went to court last month for the right to be intolerant” as gospel truth. With an opening line like that, why even read the rest of the story since the conclusion has already been drawn?There are some Constitutional issues here that perhaps loom more largely than the question of whether or not this is merely another case of an Evangelical Christian (plus one devout Jew) behaving poorly. If you’re interested, you can read more about the plaintiff’s contentions both here and here. At the end of the day, the Constitution cuts both ways, and Georgia Tech’s speech code is in the minds of many, even some nonChristians, a draconian redefinition of intolerance. Ironically, had you written your phrase, “And while I believe scripture is clear with regard to the morality of homosexuality…” on a computer using Ga Tech network systems, it could conceivably be deemed “denigrating verbal communication” and you too might have suddenly been deemed intolerant under their strict standards. In essence, Ga Tech has written their own “scripture,” defining the rules of tolerance in their community, and the question is whether they as a public institution have violated the First Amendment in prohibiting Christian speech and statements opposing homosexuality.Here’s the cool thing: you don’t have to fight. You and Scott, et al. can pursue your aims of demonstrating the love of Christ in the ways you see fit, and Christian attorneys such as David French, the chief legal counsel in the Ga. Tech suit, can be faithful in what they feel called to do. Perhaps both are needed, you know, the ying-yang, “a time and a season for everything,” cosmic balance deal.By the way, French is a Lipscomb grad and Harvard trained lawyer and is a winsome and congenial “warrior” if there ever was one. I find it very telling that the LA Times quoted many sources, but not the plaintiff’s lead attorney. It makes me wonder how interested they were in covering all sides of this story. Also it’s worth noting that the lawsuit is Sklar v. Clough–Malhotra is a co-plaintiff. Why all the emphasis on Malhotra, the Evangelical, and not a single quote from Sklar, the Jew?But I know where you’re coming from, and I agree that when it comes to producing a pleasing tune that would rise above the cacophony of the secular world, we Christians have been too often tone deaf. Yes, love trumps everything. But I still believe that “fighting” can also be as much a part of loving neighbor as turning swords into plowshares. It all depends on the time and the place (see the Preacher in Ecclesiastes).Ok, boys, let ‘er rip!

  5. james says:

    trying to find the balance of loving the sinner and not condoning the sin is extremely challenging. I don’t need to defend the actions of others, it will be my own actions, thoughts and motives that I will be needing the grace to cover. In a society where so many wrongs are no longer wrong, why wouldn’t any group of sinners desire to have their particular poison declared ok?eyeguy is right in at least one account, your clarity on the scriptures as condemning homosexuality puts you and me in the same right wing fundalmentalist lunatic category in the eyes of many that are pushing the homosexual agenda. So what you or I might consider very loving and tolerant others will consider hateful and intolerant.

  6. Nancy says:

    Jason,Love is “tolerant?”What translation is that? I’m trying to find that by googling it, but am coming up short. I see “Love is patient” (NIV), “Charity suffereth longeth” (21st Century King James), “love suffereth long” (American Standard), “Love endures long” (Amplified), “Love is kind” (Contemporary English version), Love has long patience” (Darby), “Love is patient” (English standard)… even the New Living Translation and the Message don’t say “Love is tolerant.”Instead of me searching through Bible Gateway, though, I thought it’d be easier for you to just tell me what’s on the spine of the Bible you’re reading. :)Thanks,Nancy French

  7. Jason says:

    Mike,You’re right about Sklar…she is Jewish. The noticeable absence of any quote from her struck me as well. And although I’m well aware of the media’s tendency to play one side of the story to the neglect of the other, I suppose my larger point is this: so much of the Christian faith has become, at least for some, a battle of “us” against “them” — “them” being anyone who doesn’t agree with our viewpoints. I know I’m grossly generalizing here, but you know what I mean. I’m just tired of it all.But your points are well taken. I’m sure that I would be labeled “intolerant” and “narrow minded” for my understanding of Scripture regarding homosexuality.James & Nancy, thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your comments. Feel free to come back anytime. Nancy, I was simply paraphrasing 1 Corinthians 13, not quoting any particular version. Sorry for the confusion.

  8. scott says:

    Jason, I agree. Why do we need to “fight” the lost?Is there a better way? What’s more important my freedom to condemn homosexuality or my freedom to proclaim the love of Christ.We have to be sensitive to our times. The preaching against sin approach is less effective than preaching Jesus. That does not mean we take a soft view on sin but it does mean that we meet them at the well of their lives, build relationships with them and show them how we have been changed.And in regards to Nancy’s question, love is tolerant. When we find passages that say love is longsuffering or endureth much, that is the very definition of tolerance.If love was not tolerant we would all be smoldering in the pit of hell, right now.Praise God that He is slow to anger wanting no one to perish.

  9. -Lane says:

    My question is this: If Jesus were walking on the earth today, would he be hanging out with Ruth Malhotra and Orit Sklar, or would he be hanging out with the Pride Alliance? If you’ve read your Bible at all, I think you know the answer.Last night, in youth group worship time, we sang the song “I Just Want to Be Where You Are”. It continues to say “Dwelling daily in your presence”. The fact is, if we are the Body of Christ, and made in the image of God, we go to where the sin is, and live the life of Christ, just as he did on this earth. Jesus despised hanging out with the Pharisees, and seemed to thrive amongst the sinners. Why is that? Because he had love for them.Well written Jason.

  10. Nancy says:

    Scott said, “What’s more important my freedom to condemn homosexuality or my freedom to proclaim the love of Christ.”I guess what you guys are not seeing is that this is the same right. If you lost your right to talk about your beliefs about homosexuality, then you’ve lost the right to proclaim the love of Christ.They are one in the same, inextricably linked… And you should be thankful for people willing to stand up for your right to share the love of Christ.

  11. Nancy says:

    What if you were on a college campus, and the school made you sign a document that said that you would not discriminate against gay students who wanted to lead your club?In other words, your Church of Christ or general Christian club had to allow people who wanted to lead it access to the leadership even if they are practicing sexuality that you believe is against the Bible.Would that be okay with you? Would you sign it?

  12. Jason says:

    Nancy, there’s a tremendous difference between condemning homosexuality and proclaiming the love of Christ. Does a Christian have the “right” to file suit demanding that a public university revoke it’s tolerance policies toward homosexuals? Doesn’t a Kingdom mindset call me to be tolerant of others, despite our differences, rather than protesting and picketing and attacking? Look at the response Soulforce received on their recent tour of Christian colleges. Protests, insults and hateful dialogue were par for the course with one exception: Abilene Christian. The folks at ACU created an atmosphere where respectful dialogue could occur. The following is an excerpt from ACU’s website re: the Soulforce visit.β€œAfter careful consideration and discussions about who we are as a university, we decided the best way to affirm our core Christian values would be to treat Soulforce as Christ would – to have peaceful, patient dialogue about these issues while respectfully and clearly articulating why we believe as we do,” said Dr. Royce Money, ACU president.Soulforce members said they knew ACU continued to affirm the belief throughout the day that God intended sexual relations as an expression of love between a married man and woman. They also agreed that ACU offered the love of Christ, despite theological and academic disagreements.”I believe Soulforce was unprepared for the depth of the love they would be shown by people on this campus,” said Dr. Wayne Barnard, associate provost and dean of Campus Life. “The Equality Riders expressed several times how unfamiliar that experience is for them, and we pray that somehow we touched their lives in a positive way.”(For the full article, visit guess you’re right…I don’t see how filing suit opens up an opportunity for Malhotra to share the love of Christ.Like I said before, love is the better way, the eternal way.

  13. Nancy says:

    Perhaps you don’t understand legal precedent. If it’s wrong and legally punishable for Ruth to speak out, it’s wrong and legally punishable for you to speak out. These groups think your “sharing the love of Christ” is hate speech. Ruth is nothing but peaceful and kind, BTW. However, since she’s a Christian — like you — she’s labeled “intolerant.” Your posts here would be considered intolerant hate speech. But thank God — and lawyers like David — that you have the right to say these things.(So, you would sign the contract?)

  14. scott says:

    Nancy said:”I guess what you guys are not seeing is that this is the same right. If you lost your right to talk about your beliefs about homosexuality, then you’ve lost the right to proclaim the love of Christ.”I disagree, I can proclaim the love of Christ without my beliefs on homosexuality ever coming out. I can proclaim the love of Christ through a smile, through turning the other cheek, by being meek and humble, by kindness and justice. Proclaiming the love of Christ is contingent upon nothing.

  15. Jason says:

    Nancy,I’m sure that if I told you I wouldn’t sign that document, you’d proceed to tell me how I’d be lambasted as intolerant. Or if I said I would sign the document, I’d be too soft on sin. Why don’t you just tell me what you’re getting at?

  16. Nancy says:

    Scott,No, you can’t spread the love of Jesus without mentioning gay sex, because they ask you to sign papers regarding this topic! At least on college campuses. [And why would you want to be silent on a Biblical issue? (If you are CoC, aren’t you supposed to “speak where the Bible speaks and be silent where the Bible is silent?” — that’s a joke, a la Batsell Barrett Baxter, I think!)]On college campuses, they MAKE you sign a paper that says your Christian group will let practicing homosexuals not only join (which I think is fine) but lead the group. (this is where I’m going, Jason – I really wondered what you’d do in this very real situation.) The Left is pushing their agenda on Christians. Christians are being kicked off campus — not because they are out on the sidewalk preaching that God hates Gays. Quite the contrary. They are kicked off because they of the beliefs they hold. The same beliefs you gentlemen hold.And it’s not isolated, it’s epidemic.BUT, Scott, you are missing the point anyway. I’m not saying that the gospel message is “Believe in Jesus and be saved if you give up gay sex.” I’m saying that the First Ammendment guarantees freedom of expression and religion.If Ruth does not have freedom of religion, you don’t either. You may choose to express it different ways (or not – that article you quote is lame and misrepresents the facts of the case), but all people — the ACLU and Christians both — should respect each other’s right to free speech.Ruth has been threatened by these tolerance advocates. they threatened to throw acid in her face and strangle her before the day is out…. SO glad they’re tolerant. Hate to see them if they weren’t.Anyway, Christians should stand up for gay free speech — if it were threatened — and gay should stand up for Christian free speech. We don’t want the government picking one set of beliefs over the other and giving preference. That is what this case is about.

  17. Nancy says:

    It’s not unloving to make a stand against oppression. And Paul, in the Scriptures, made an appeal to authorities on the basis that he was a Roman citizen. He didn’t think that getting his rights taken away was the best way to win converts.(BTW, Ruth is a kind, loving person — even though the Leftist people on campus… the tolerant ones… have put her face all over the internet with Nazi symbols on her face.)

  18. Jason says:

    Nancy,I’m guessing you have some sort of personal connection with Ruth? Or GT?

  19. scott says:

    Nancy, I wish you well as you champion this case. My prayer alone is that Christ will be glorified. We may disagree on the best way to do that, but I believe our intent is the same.

  20. Nancy says:

    Hey Jason — Oh, I’m sorry — I don’t know Ruth, but my husband is David French, the lead attorney. I signed my last name, but should’ve made the connection more clear.I went to New York University where my professors tried to convince the class to have bisexual adventures, David went to Harvard Law School where he received death threats for opting out of the student fee which went to student abortions.The “tolerance” movement is anything but tolerant. To be sure, I appreciate the fact that the headline “Christians fight for right to be intolerant” hurt your heart, but the headline is false. sorry I wasn’t clearer on my marital connection with David. (He sometimes needs to be reminded of our marital connection, since he missed our first anniversary… ten years ago… but I don’t let him forget it.):)

  21. Nancy says:

    Thanks, Scott. You rock.Is no one laughing at my Batsell Barrett Baxter joke?Hello?(tap – tap – tap)Is this microphone working?

  22. Jason says:

    Nancy,I understand that the right demonizes the left and the left makes the right look antiquated. Clearly you’re more conversant re: the legalese of these situations. As ministers, Scott and I are cut from the same cloth, though. We hurt for the lost. That’s my only dog in this hunt. I worry that others won’t see Christ in us…that we’ll be known more for our issues and less for our character. That’s my greater point here. I think the only way homosexuals (or anyone else for that matter) will be “won over” is by love, plain and simple.But I do appreciate your position and you raise some points for me to consider. I understand your point about how intolerant the tolerance movement is. Clearly someone who would adorn someone’s image with Nazi images is anything but tolerant. But I refuse to let a group’s agenda lay claim to what I still consider to be a core tenet of Christianity. I only want to be tolerant with others to the degree Christ is tolerant with me. I really appreciate you stopping by and weighing in. I think I know the answer, but let me ask you: Would you sign the document?

  23. mike the eyeguy says:

    Ok, that does it! I’m switching from wry commentary and Dave Barryesque takes on family life to “hot button issues.” I can see that’s the only way I’m ever going to get a 20 comment post…Jason, my main reason for weighing with such a verbose reply was to encourage an exercise in discernment. Contrast the LA Times piece with this one. Notice any differences in terms of balance and fairness? The second one is from an India-based new agency. Wow, first the Anglican bishops in Africa and Asia send missionaries to America preaching orthodoxy and fidelity to scripture, and now a foreign news agency aces the LA Times on a story in our own backyard. If that’s what globalization will do for you, then sign me up!Yes, just like “evolution,” so much hinges on the nuances of the word “tolerance.” MLK, et al. were famously “intolerant” of the “intolerance” of Jim Crow, and as Christians they didn’t hesitate to use the weight of the government and the courts to help set things straight. I know many of you will immediately cry foul at the analogy, but, really, how many of you have spent any time in the trenches of a secular campus recently? So, how could say for sure that there aren’t any parallels in this situation?Lane–I have been reading the Bible (or having it read to me) for nearly 45 years now. I can’t say for sure, but I bet when it comes down to who Jesus would “hang with”–Ruth Malhotra or the Pride Alliance–I would bet that it would be “both/and” rather than “either/or.”But then again, I don’t have a degree in theology, so maybe I’m missing something! πŸ˜‰

  24. Nancy says:

    Jason,Although I’m not officially a “minister” of the Gospel, I am of the royal priesthood generally… When my husband and I lived in Kentucky, and he was a lawyer, I had meals at my house every week for people who were reeling from the 9/11 tragedy and were searching for answers. Over the course of one summer, all the participants and their husbands made a committment to Christ — many people who are all involved regularly in churches and are even now doing evangelism themselves. I’ve done this same thing four times, including even one for Jews in a large Northeastern city. (That one flopped. :)When I lived in Philly, I talked to people about Jesus about 5 times a week — people who had never heard about him, who thought “Peter, Paul, and Mary” were a Biblical sibling group. I’ve shared the gospel in New York to my co-workers, I’ve shared the love of Christ to my fellow students, I’ve stopped the car and picked up random people off the street and brought them to church with me. (And they accepted Christ.) I’ve presented the gospel in newspapers in some of the most hostile environments known to American Christians…I, above all else, love to tell people the good news of Jesus. And in the process, I’ve been called names I won’t even reprint here for fear I’ll muck up your wholesome blog.Yet, am I mad that people disrespect me? No. Am I irritated at them for being deceived by the Enemy? Of course not. However, spreading the gospel is not optional… and the Left is trying to make it impossible for us to do that. (I’m not taking about yelling at gays at parades, I’m talking about spreading the pure and life changing gospel of our Lord.)Romans asks, “And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?”So, when attacked, we must resist — peacefully and joyfully. You wouldn’t believe the good witness it is to be a courageous, loving Christian person. Jesus was both. We are to speak the truth in love — not hide the truth so they’ll like us and think we’re cool and maybe ask us to coffee and perhaps by the good life I’ll lead, they’ll ask me why I’m so happy and I’ll be able to tell them it’s because I am a Christian. We tell the good news in love, whatever the repercussions. The fact that you have a heart for evangelism is why you should immediately pray about this situation. Your very ability to spread that good news is threatened by the case you’re discussing.

  25. scott says:

    Mike, I hear you on the Jim Crow analogy. But the proponents of non-violent resistance in the 50’s and 60’s were intolerant of Jim Crow but not intolerant on people. MLK emphasized love despite the hatred that people harbored for the Negro (the commonly used-term of that time). Their first course of action was not to use the government but to use their own lives, their own bodies to make a statement. The government and the courts were no friends to them during those early days.I say that to say this: the proclamation of the gospel is not contingent upon the government or the courts. Christianity is not dependent upon America. I appreciate the efforts of those such as Nancy’s husband who are a voice against intolerance. I view what he is doing as a good thing. But we must be careful not to reduce Christianity, and its spread, to the protection of America.I think we have seen throughout history, from the first century on, that when Christianity is oppressed it lives on. God is the ultimate mover and shaker here. Not America.And Mike, don’t sweat it. I get over 400 hits a day, I dwell on “hot button issues” and I don’t get conversations like this.Maybe, if Nancy visits my blog? πŸ™‚ There, I used a stupid emoticon.

  26. Nancy says:

    Scott,Oh, I visited your blog — I left before you started singing Kum-Ba-Yah…:)Nancy

  27. Nancy says:

    Scott, You said, “the proclamation of the gospel is not contingent upon the government or the courts”Tell that to Christians in China or Afghanistan… you know, the ones in jail, awaiting death.

  28. Jason says:

    David, I’m reposting your comment. The only thing I’m editing is the expletive following “twinkie”. I know you’re just making a point about the slandering remarks made toward Ruth. Here’s the rest of your comment.David French wrote:Hello, David French here (and thank you, Nancy, for fighting the good fight!)I’m not going to take up much time, but there is one thing that I think is rather sad (and even heartbreaking) about the initial post that started this entire commentary. A fellow Christian reads a news article in a newspaper that the Christian either knows (or for heaven’s sake should know) comes at issues — particularly homosexual issues — from a leftist perspective. That Christian then makes a snap judgment about a legal case and about the manner in which Ruth expresses herself that is 180 degrees from the truth. When you talk about love, our obligation to love (or in your “paraphrase” be “tolerant”) extends to your fellow believers as well. It seems as if you are persisting in crediting the other side’s version of the facts rather than your fellow believers’. I know there are Christians that say and do some dumb and, yes, truly intolerant things, but if you knew the truth about how our words are so often spun in the media, you would perhaps be a bit more charitable in your judgments about Christians.As for your earlier comment about proclaiming the love of Christ with a “smile.” Well . . . umm . . . that was almost heartbreakingly naive. Let me ask you some questions, and you tell me how your smile helps you here:1. You are in a school of education and during a policy class you are asked to tell the teacher whether you support adoption by homosexuals. You do not. What do you say? Silence is not an option here. (By the way, the Christian involved answered that he did not believe in homosexual adoption and was about to be denied an education degree as a result . . . until he contacted a lawyer).2. You are in a school of social work. You are required by the school to lobby your state’s legislature in support of same sex “marriage.” What do you do?3. You lead a Christian group and an outspoken lesbian on campus seeks to become president of the group so that she can “spread the word that Lesbianism is not incompatible with Christianity.” What do you do?4. You are an R.A. at a major university, and a friend comes over to your room for private Bible study. The school says you cannot continue your Bible study without losing your job. What do you do?All of those cases come from real life, and in each of those cases the Christians involved were not seeking to be “intolerant.” Instead, true intolerance found them. And while smiles may be helpful in at least defusing some anger, they are not, in fact, a substitute for the Gospel. In the last five years, approximately 60 colleges and universities have either thrown Christian groups off campus or attempted to throw those groups off campus. So even if they want to smile, they have to smile from across the street. Ruth Malhotra (and Orit, of course, but since the topic of this thread is Christianity, I’ll focus on Ruth) is one of the sweetest and kindest people I know. She has never been intolerant to anyone. She is kind to everyone. She is a woman of conviction who believes that all Americans should enjoy equal rights to speak, conservative and liberal, Christian, Jew, or Atheist, homosexual or heterosexual. And what has happened in response? People have threatened to throw acid in her face. People have threatened to choke her. There is even a blog out there called “Ruth Malhotra Must Die.” She is called a “Twinkie…” in flyers across campus (Ruth is Indian, and a “twinkie” is someone who is “yellow on the outside and white on the inside”) But perhaps most hurtful of all are the Christians who claim that Jesus would rather hang with those people than her.

  29. Jason says:

    Mike,You’re right…Jesus would be with both groups. It’s “both” not “either/or”. David,I’m not questioning anybody’s “version of the facts.” And I’m certainly not naive enough to believe that a “smile” is a “substitute for the Gospel.” (Where did all this “smile” stuff come from anyway? I don’t remember saying that…) I did say “the only way homosexuals (or anyone else for that matter) will be ‘won over’ is by love, plain and simple.” And I stand by that. But clearly there are plenty of issues here that I’m unaware of. I’m not above admitting that. As I said earlier, my training is in ministry, not law. Perhaps my comment in my initial post was too strong (I said, “It’s hard for me to see any love in the actions of Ruth Malhotra and Orit Sklar.”) That comment smacks of a judgmental attitude and I shouldn’t have written that. What I was trying to say is that I find it difficult to see how filing suit embodies the love of Christ. I’m thankful for your calling and your profession, David. May God continue to bless you as you labor for the Kingdom.

  30. scott says:

    Actually, the comment on proclaiming the love of Christ with a smile was mine, and it is anything but “naive.” I listed a number of ways that the gospel can be proclaimed, that was merely one of them. Isn’t the idea that the gospel must be protected through the courts limiting the power of Jesus?Don’t misunderstand me, I applaud what you are doing. Again, we may come at it differently but I believe you are doing kingdom work. Thank you for doing that. I appreciate that you know the people in this case and are actively involved in seeing it through to some semblance of justice.I, personally, did not have all the facts at the beginning, and for that I was wrong. But, as Jason said, our motive is loving both sides. If we are guilty of doing that too much, then that is the hill we die on.As Mike indicated earlier, I haven’t spent time at a secular university since I graduated from one 15 years ago.Also, as a Christian who has moved more leftward in recent years, I must continually strive to ensure that I do not swing to the other extreme of denigrating or dismissing those who disagree with me. Thank you for the reminder.I still maintain, however, that the gospel of Christ is not contingent upon the protection of governments or courts. Christianity began as an underground religion. Revelation is testament to the fact that persecution is assured but God is not tied to secular powers for His way to out.Thank you for the discussion. God bless you in your work.

  31. mike the eyeguy says:

    Jason–Whoa, 30+ comments…Mike Cope is starting to watch his back…Scott–400 hits a day? Good grief, I didn’t get that many at the height of the Nancy Grace/Church of Christ Cult Scandal.Now, I feel really short…

  32. Nancy says:

    Scott,I agree with you that the gospel can’t be snuffed out just because a government tries to. Obviously, David’s just trying to protect the Constitution, since the government regulations can impede the spread of the message.Mike Cope ain’t got nothing on Jason. Y’all are welcome to stop by my blog anytime!

  33. Jason says:

    Thanks for pushing my comments to an all-time high, guys. You’re going down, Cope…Seriously, I’ve appreciated the lively discussion. That’s the great thing about the blogging world.

  34. scott says:

    I have nothing more to say. I’m just doing my part to push the comment total to 40. Remember this, Jason. Silence on my blog is no longer an option.And, I believe we need to push one of Mike’s entries up to 20. Mike, my current series has doubled my blog readership. I was averaging just over 200 hits a day before that.And Nancy, I have never sung Kum-baya on my blog. “We Shall Overcome” yes. Kumbaya, no.

  35. mike the eyeguy says:

    Scott–You’re a good man, Hawg-breath notwithstanding. I would gladly swallow my pride and gobble up the crumbs from your table.We could call it “trickle down blogonomics.”

  36. mike the eyeguy says:

    Oh, and another thing…I would never (and have never) made the case that the U.S. and Christianity are inextricably linked.However, we do live here and the U.S. is the land of our sojourn. To quote Jeremiah:”Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its peace you will find your peace.”

  37. scott says:

    Mike, I know that you would not make that connection: but many do. That is at the heart of my greatest tension, being in the world but not of it.

  38. Nancy says:

    This is comment 40!Yippee! I should win something.

  39. Jenna says:

    I mean… could there be any more comments on this blog entry?!?! Could this be a record? For real…

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