I was watching a video on Facebook earlier where an “ex-pastor” was sharing why he no longer believes in the Bible. He presented his findings from a few different angles. As I read the comments, I noticed that his video really angered people. Then I wondered why I wasn’t angry. After all, he was attacking the Word of God, the very foundation of my faith. I mean, I was supposed to be offended, right?
As I processed what I was feeling or, rather what I wasn’t feeling, I realized I wasn’t angry because I didn’t feel threatened by the things he was saying.
Perhaps the way my own conversion came about helped some. I actually shared most of his views prior to being Christian. In fact, I hated everything that represented Christianity. The Bible. The Christian vernacular (aka Christianese). Gospel and praise music. And especially, the Cross.
Or maybe it was the fact that my own belief was tested just recently, and I was practically in a position where I desperately needed answers from God. I didn’t know what the result of this would be. But I chose to trust with everything in me that He would reveal the answers to me. And while I didn’t experience a Moses-like meeting with God where I heard Him speaking to me audibly. I did sense Him guiding me to where I could find my answers. And I did.
I was beyond grateful to receive my answers. But man, oh man, was I humbled by the fact that God would even meet me in the place I was in to reveal them to me.
So, watching this video on the heels on my recent experience and edification, on top of me understanding the place this guy is in, invoked compassion in me, not anger. Not saying I feel sorry for him or that I’m expressing some cheap sympathy. I mean, I really related to the inner tension he alluded to and pray that he will continue his search for truth. I’m not at all offended when people say they’re on a quest for truth.
I think we oftentimes have far too low a view of God. Do we not believe God is capable of winning people’s hearts? Even the hardest of hearts? How do we know that God isn’t allowing this guy and others like him to go on this journey in order to reach people they would have never been able to reach otherwise, and for His Glory! See, we have no idea what God’s plans are. We only see things through our very limited and skewed lens.
I have a theory. I believe that those who were angered may really be feeling threatened deep down inside. We know anger is a secondary emotion. The underlying emotions (hurt, confusion, rejection, insecurity, fear, etc.) however, are typically those that are more vulnerable and definitely less favorable to express culturally. It’s possible, many who are angered by these types of professions really have unanswered questions themselves. Questions they are embarrassed to acknowledge because of fear. Fear that having questions, concerns, doubts even, mean they don’t have faith. And this shakes us.
But like anything else that’s hard. We owe it to ourselves to lean into it. How can we truly witness to others when we don’t believe God is BIG enough to meet us where we are and reveal His truth to us?