My lovely wife recently noticed the water in our shower has a disagreeable, even offensive odor. Since our home is rural and we have a private well, this was not the first time this has occurred. Over the course of the two decades we’ve lived here, a water filter with activated carbon has proven itself a viable solution as it is specifically designed to absorb and trap nasty stinky odors.
I’ve been thinking of that filter a lot over the last five days, given the recent Supreme Court ruling on Roe v. Wade.
There’s a lot of anger out there, and it is directed primarily at Christians.
Approximately two-thirds of our population has spent their entire lives under the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that abortion was a right guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States. To many of those people, we are a disagreeable, even offensive lot.
And, many of these angry people believe that, in overturning Roe v. Wade, the Court made abortion illegal.
That is most certainly not what just happened. In a six-to-three decision, the Supreme Court ruled that, “The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each State from regulating or prohibiting abortion. Roe and Casey arrogated that authority. We now overrule those decisions and return that authority to the people and their elected representatives.” (Casey is a reference to a 1992 case Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey in which the Supreme Court upheld the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling. The entire ruling takes up 213 pages. An annotated version is available here. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2022/06/24/us/politics/supreme-court-dobbs-jackson-analysis-roe-wade.html )
But, as I look out across social media and the great landscape of discussion and debate in our country, I see absolutely no one debating the actual ruling or the Justice’s legal interpretation of the Constitution. That is not happening.
What is happening is a lot of anger and misunderstanding and emotional reaction to what just took place.
And we Christians are not exempt or blameless in this regard either.
So, now I’m back to the water filter. We’ve been praying for almost fifty years that Roe v. Wade would be overturned. Now that it has happened, it’s time to very thoughtfully and carefully filter our responses and (Praise God!) we have been given a filter like no other in Galatians 5:22-23a:
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (NLT)
I have tried (and in one case, failed) to filter what I post on social media through that filter. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control are very effective barriers against disagreeable, offensive, stinky, hateful comments. The “delete” key is my best friend on the keyboard.
We need to remember that after a half-century and over 63 million abortions, there are bound to be some deep, deep scars on our nation and on many, many individuals. We need to listen and to hear what people are saying and offer them the love of Jesus (John 3:16) and do everything in our power to remember John 3:17.
We also would do well to remember the example of what happened in Ephesus and how Jesus changed the world through those Ephesians. https://kinshipradio.org/home/2019/02/07/christians-at-the-dump/
We need to remember Proverbs 15:1:
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (NIV)
We need to remember 1 Corinthians 10:23:
“All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up.” (ESV)
Living water is not stinky or disagreeable. Yes, there will be those to whom we are the very stench of death itself (2 Corinthians 2:16) and that is inevitable, but remember that for every person who makes a comment on social media, there are dozens, perhaps hundreds or thousands who read what we write and say nothing but nonetheless form an opinion about these people who call themselves Christians.
“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (NIV)
Note: This is still relevant, too. https://kinshipradio.org/home/2020/07/01/an-epistle-to-the-church-on-facebook/