PART 1: Judge Not Lest Ye Be Judged
PART 2: Religion and Legalism
PART 3: God Bless The Pioneers of New Ideas
> PART 4: Incorrectly Politically Correct
PART 5: Feel-Good Theology
To get a complete picture of what I'm trying to say, you should read parts 1-3 as listed above before moving on to this one. :)
I have been blessed that in most of the things our family has chosen, I am not among the first "radicals" to walk this road and so it is therefore pretty easy for me to find support. But there are some new concepts that I'm apparently one of a very small, nearly nonexistant portion of the population to believe during my own little piece in history. Like the politically correct thing. I have actually never met anyone (yes NEVER met ANYONE) who didn't believe to some degree that it's wrong to tell other people if they're doing something you consider wrong because it might step on the toes of their culture or religion or thier personal code of conduct. That it's wrong to offend anyone so we should all just let everyone else think say and do anything they want to without making it known that we feel they are in the wrong, lest we hurt anyone's feelings. Now if you've read the earlier post that I've now dubbed Part 1, then you have an idea of where I'm going with this next.
If someone is doing something that you think could harm them or their kids it's wrong not to say something because you're too busy trying not to encroach on anyone's beliefs. If I had a religious, cultural, or personal belief that stated that the safest place for my 20 month old was in the front seat of the car without a carseat, would you be willing to do what's right and inform me of the dangers of that so that I would at least have a more balanced information base before deciding what to do or would you refrain from it because it would just be so wrong to tell anyone that something they've chosen to do might not be the best choice?! At least if you've warned me then it's not your fault if I get in a car accident and my kid dies, but if you never warned me then it could be partially your fault- you could have saved a life but chose to be politically correct instead. Once you've presented the other side then you are no longer responsible for their decision, and hey there IS the chance that something could happen in which the only safe place for my 20 month old IS in the front seat of my car with no carseat! So it's the person's choice in the end, but it's our responsibility to tell someone if something you think they are doing is potentially dangerous and then you will not be responsible if something bad happens because you chose to kiss-up instead of do what's right. The BIBLE (James 4:17) says that if you know what is the right thing to do and you don't do it, then you're sinning. If you know you should say something but don't want to offend anyone so you don't say anything, then you have sinned. What THEY do with the info is THEIR choice and they have the right to choose whatever they choose, and maybe they are right and you are wrong after all, but if you really believe what you claim to then act like it. I'm not saying a continual harassment of this person each time you see them, but I AM saying that you have the responsibility to present to them what you believe is right and a clear explanation of WHY one time before you have the right to wash your hands of the situation.
If you believe something, then you stand up for it. Do you believe it's wrong to protest at someone's feuneral? If you saw people protesting at a feuneral it would make you mad and you would be talking about how wrong it is, becuase you really believe it's wrong. You wouldn't bite your tongue because you might offend the race, religion, or culture who was protesting it. You would say that it's wrong, period. If your concern over not forcing your anti-feuneral-protest beliefs on anyone outweighs your concern for the wrongness of the harassment of the greif struck family then you are not genuinely deep down convinced that it's actually flat out wrong, are you? Because if you knew in your heart without a shadow of a doubt that it's wrong, then nothing would keep you from defending the family and speaking out against feuneral protestors- not even concern over possibly stepping on the protestors (or their supporters') toes.
If you don't have a stance one way or another on a topic, like say you don't think it's wrong either way to recycle or not recycle, then you would have no business trying to convince someone else that they should or shouldn't recycle. I'm not saying that if they're asking you can't refer them to something you read somewhere on the subject or that if you're still working it out in your own mind you can't be involved in a discussion about it in the interest of settling your own mind about it one way or the other. What I'm saying is that if you don't really believe in an absolute about something then you have no place helping/encouraging/or demanding anyone else make up their mind about it until you have your own mind made up. Likewise if you have no firm belief either way then you have no business telling anyone who DOES have a firm belief one way or the other about it to hold their tongue. You telling someone not to stand up for what they believe in is just as much of a sin as it would be for them to not stand up for what they believe in. I believe that to not defend what you believe to be right is like denying that you believe it at all.
In the Bible it doesn't say that to be saved we need to Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and don't deny that you do if someone asks, and thou shalt be saved. No, it says in Romans 10:9-10 "That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved." It doesn't say that just not denying it will suffice, it states that you must actively verbally confess your beliefs. I think that if it's that important to God that we don't just merely not deny Him, but that we actively confess Him instead, then it must be an important component in having a belief. If believing something inside and just not denying it verbally was enough to make a belief a true belief, then it would have been good enough for God.
On the flip side harassing someone after the fact is IMO WRONG. If they have already made thier choices and something bad happened, for you to go and say you told them so or to then pick that moment to enlighten them on your beliefs and why they "chose wrong," then I believe that is cruel, arrogant, and selfish. There is a time and a place for everything and the time and place to tell someone what they would have could have should have done is NOT when they are greiving over it with that very track of coulda should woulda guilt playing on repeat in their head. It is NOT helpful to tell someone why you believe this or that is wrong when the opportunity for them to benefit from it has passed. Reminds me of Job's "friends" tormenting him after he lost everything. Just because some of the stuff they said was true didn't give them the right to be jerks - I think Job already knew that God had a reason for letting this happen, he didn't need to hear his healthy happy friends tell him stuff he already knew and belittle his problems. If you tell someone they shoulda wore a seatbelt after they are already paralyzed from the neck down, all it does is cause them pain and the evil one just loves it when you kick them while they're down and rub salt in their wound. It's too late to help them with pro-seatbelt sentiments so all you're doing is hurting them. THAT is the right time to shut up and be supportive of them as a person. Never endorse their having done something you believe wrong of course, because that would be DENYING what you supposedly believe in, but after the fact is not the time for an explanation of why you believe what you believe regarding that subject unless they ask.
Please click on Part 5 listed at the top of this post to read the conclusion of this batch of thoughts. :)