If you're mad, you were mad when you got here. You're gonna be mad when you leave. You're just mad. You're just mad and mean and I can't help you. And God could help you if you'd give your life to Jesus. Ok. You're just mean. But I'm to the point where I don't care because this is what I want. -Perry Noble
Recently, I received a note about this blog from an acquaintance who accused me of shoving my beliefs down his throat simply by posting links to this blog on my social media accounts for my friends to have access to my thoughts. Let me be clear, I do not intend to shove my anything down anyone else's anything. If you are offended by the content of my writing, stop clicking on links to this blog. If my writing offends you, I'm sorry that you are offended. I really am, but my best guess is that you were offended long before you clicked the link to read my post and that you'll be offended long after you forget everything you read here.
A few weeks ago I was listening to a podcast of a sermon by Perry Noble as he told his congregation that he was taking a month long sabbatical from preaching. The quote above was his response to the members of his church who were upset at him taking time off from preaching to do the things he needed to do to set him up for success leading the church.
It's completely true. I see it all the time. Some people are just mad and nothing you say or do will change that in them. This past week the president of Chick-Fil-A made national headlines when he said that he did not support homosexual marriage. The LGBT community came out of the woodwork to call this man a bigot, a homophobe, and all sorts of bad names for simply standing up and giving his opinion on a subject where it seems that the only group who needs "tolerance" are those against it. His statement should have come as no surprise to anyone; this is the same man who closes his restaurants on Sundays so that his employees can go to church with their families rather than keeping them at work making money. Any corporate president who is willing to forsake 1/7th of his business's potential earnings for the sake of his employees faith is the sort of man we should expect things like this from. He's the sort of man everyone already knew didn't support gay marriage before he even opened his mouth, yet the second he said something, he was a bigot and became the most hated man in the nation in the eyes of the gay community. Some people are just angry.
Closer to home, there has been a story in the news this week about a church here in Mississippi who's pastor asked an african american couple to move their wedding to another church because a small group in his congregation came to him upset that he was allowing the first black couple to marry in that church's history and trying to avoid controversy, he caved in to their complaints and refused to marry the couple in the church (to be fair, he did marry them; just in another local church). In his haste to avoid controversy, he created a much larger one when the media, and then the rest of his congregation, found out and were incensed at the racism and anger of a few members of their church which caused an entire congregation to be labeled as racist. Again, those members who took their old, stupid, racist comments to the preacher were angry, old, stupid, and racist long before he tried to marry a black couple in their church, and they'll be just as angry, old, stupid, and racist until their last breath unless God gets His hands on their hearts and makes a change in them.
What can be done about angry people? Not much. Unfortunately, when I encountered my angry atheist last week, I made some comments I'm not proud of, pointing out the hypocrisy of accusing someone of shoving beliefs down other's throats while posting his own views about religion just as frequently. I should have kept quiet and followed the "don't feed the trolls" rule common to many of the message boards I frequent. I should have remembered Pastor Noble's comments and realized that there is nothing I can do to change an angry man's heart. God could, if he would allow it; but I, alone, can do nothing.
The last thing I will write today are two quote I wrote down in church this morning from my pastor, Eric Smith, that really struck me as two of those simple lines that mean so much more than the words contained in them. At least one of them, I'm sure, will wind up as the topic of a post here at some point.
The first one: "We don't need morals, we need Jesus." Honestly, if I didn't want to avoid ruining the recording of his sermon, I would have started clapping right then and there, but I am too addicted to podcasts to intentionally ruin one by making noise.
And the second: "It has to be personal." While the first one would make a great post, this is the one I'll likely tackle first. We aren't saved as a collective. We don't have a relationship with Jesus as a congregation. It has to be a personal relationship with Him; a close, personal love, for any of this to work for us.
Good night. I hope you have a blessed week. If you have any comments on my blog, please leave them. I would love to hear your thoughts, even if they aren't happy, shiny, things.
-- Forrest C. Adcock