That’s Unacceptable! Quit It.

The word for the dayIf it’s unacceptable, then quit accepting it!

We are living in a toxic atmosphere.  People’s lives can be ripped apart just for posting the wrong thing on Twitter, or Instagram, or whatever.  Every word is scrutinized, and failure to toe the party line (whichever party) can lead to violent backlash.  A reputation can be ruined world-wide in a day.  I have been keeping my mouth (or my keyboard) shut until my emotions simmer down.  My purpose in life is to reach others with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I want to avoid spouting some opinion, political or otherwise, that may offend and prevent my being heard by someone Jesus died for.  I don’t want to poison the pond where I have to fish.  After three weeks of tongue-biting, God poked me in the gut and reminded me that He will help me. 

We are re-debating, or at least simultaneously screaming about, the perpetual tension between liberty and license, tyranny and anarchy that is at the core of any discussion about how we live together.  In our land, this is complicated by our extraordinary number of ethnic and racial backgrounds, our varied religious heritages, and the sheer vastness and variety of the land itself.  It’s huge!  No other country has ever even attempted anything like it, yet we remain the longest-lasting constitutional democracy in history.  That status seems to be in jeopardy, and that is a shame.

Judy reminded me the other night of a quote used by John F. Kennedy in 1961, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”  She clearly meant to encourage me to speak my mind, and she is nearly always right about such things.  Another phrase we hear a lot these days is that something or someone is “unacceptable.”  I find that irritating.  You see, most of the time it’s used to describe things we don’t like, that we want others to know we disapprove of, but that we don’t plan to really do anything about (This is especially true of politicians). I heard it the other day in reference to the killing of George Floyd.  All I could think was, “That wasn’t just unacceptable; it was horrible, despicable, murder, evil.”

As a Christian, I have the obligation to measure my responses to life against the standard of God’s Word.  I also have the obligation to let others know what God thinks.  If something makes a difference in eternity, I must address it somehow.  The other day, I read a pithy phrase from Dagen McDowell, “Silence is accepting the unacceptable when it comes from anybody.”  That reflected my feeling on so many things.  If you really think something is unacceptable, then quit accepting it.  Do something!  Say something!  If we don’t, the outcome is predetermined.  With that in mind, I am constrained to comment on some “unacceptable” things:

  • Racism is unacceptable.
  • Violence is unacceptable.
  • Bullying and intimidation are unacceptable.
  • Destruction and theft of other people’s property is unacceptable.
  • Preventing others from expressing their opinion is unacceptable.
  • Deception is unacceptable.
  • Being in public office for decades and doing nothing is unacceptable.
  • Allowing others to be mistreated is unacceptable.
  • Allowing people to rush toward Hell unimpeded is unacceptable.
  • Screaming slogans (or talking points) instead of discussing ideas is unacceptable.

I’m sure I’ll think of others as I go along.  For me, and I hope at some point for you, remaining silent for fear of the backlash is unacceptable.  As a Christian, hatred is unacceptable.  God help us, cowardice is unacceptable.

The word for the day:  If it’s unacceptable, then quit accepting it!

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