The Angst of Against 

Someone posted a simple question on Facebook. It was… “Who are You Voting Against?” I thought it was brilliant.

Following that, I drove by a political sign in front of someone’s house. It read, “VOTE. Anyone But Trump”. (any name can be inserted here)

All this made me think. I have an ex-Muslim friend that once explained to me the nature of religion, using Islam as an example, is based on a negative principle. Originally built on a foundation of being against the teachings of Christianity, this negativity is perpetrated by being inscribed on mosques, “Allah is NOT…”  I don’t know if I am properly explaining my friend’s point, but hopefully you get the gist. It is an attitude not just found in Islam.

We might add:
“The President/Government should NOT…”
“God is NOT…”
“Church is NOT…”
“That person should NOT say that, or do that…”

I have noticed something the last couple years. There is a huge segment of society that is reacting. Reacting in anger. Reacting in disappointment. And reacting in hurt. Deep hurts. It’s like a war going on, even an apocalypse, and it’s perhaps destroying more people’s peace and well-being than all the physical wars put together.

It is evident everywhere in society. Have you noticed? It’s not only in certain minority and other people groups, but also in some of your family members and people that you meet every day.

No wait. It’s likely much closer than that.

A sad observation I have made. People with a heart wound, going on a head trip.” – Jay Ferris

How subtle this head trip is, and how tragic when the wounding begins in the heart of a child! People getting hurt and disappointed by authority figures who were respected and looked up to, or people who they were close to, who then failed them. A seed quietly grows inside, forming a root that no one knows is bitter at the start. Some say little in response, retreating into a world of relational or spiritual isolation. Others say more, taking on a more proud stance in attention-grabbing soapboxes or causes, including “bible thumping” people from a distance — all in a way that polarizes others, and exonerates themselves.

Enter the expression of Facebook posts. Blogs. Voting Booths. Pulpits. Religious (or non-religious) denominations and practices. Whatever it is, there is an outlet for the bitterness of the human soul to express itself, and what it is against.

I remember being a part of a home group where for many weeks, even months, all we did was talk about what was wrong with organized churches and their beliefs. Finally, a woman visited who broke the negative spirit we were under. On one particular topic she asked, “I know WHAT you believe about this. That much is clear. But WHY do you believe it?” That question set us in a different and better direction after that, than just being “against” stuff.

The disciples of Jesus were against some people, too. One time they heard about some strangers who were doing the same good works that Jesus had them doing.  They tattled it to Jesus, thinking He too would be suspicious of these “non-disciples.” But Jesus had the right heart. He told His disciples:

Whoever is not against us, is for us.” – Mark 9:40

When it comes down to it, God IS love. He is not Hate. This doesn’t mean He doesn’t hate things (the Bible says He does), but it doesn’t encapsulate God into a negative, but a positive.

I think this is a good thing to keep in mind, not only during this highly charged political season, but in all our dealings.

Most importantly, may it humble and guide the very attitude of our hearts!

13 thoughts on “The Angst of Against 

  1. Not sure it was me you saw, but I did recently make that simple post “Who are you voting against?” It was intended to be a heartfelt and deep concept. I’m saddened by the road being traveled of “what we are against”. As a Christian I mostly just want to share what love, believe and have experienced. I believe it has much more power to change than rebuking other beliefs. I will give my opinion when asked but I would prefer that the answers are apparent in my life. Thanks for sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, Andrew, it WAS your comment that I saw! :-) I could feel the heart in it. I am reminded that “a soft answer turns away wrath.” So many other things can be applied to the same principle, that there is a Better Way. <3
      I so appreciate you.


  2. True. What one is against speaks not to what is true to is actually is one’s heart, but to being hurt (anger, pain). It is so clear to see someone’s pain by posts of “against” instead of “for.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. There is a Goliath in the land and its name is passivity. It feeds on a sense of powerlessness and it breeds the “victim mentality” that is smothering so many today. Further, it results in a passive aggressive behavior that manifests this “angst of against” you are describing. It seems to me that we need of good dose of understanding what Christ has done for us and correspondingly who we are in Christ.
    We live with defeat, discouragement, and low self-esteem because we haven’t seen ourselves totally through Christ’s eyes (John 17:20-23). Once we begin to see ourselves as being one with Him we begin to be a victor rather than a victim and the passive aggressive behavior slinks back to the pit it came from.
    Romans 12:2

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So true, Pamela. The fracturing of churches into denominations has mostly to do with being “against” whatever belief or practice they’ve left. Whole churches are built on the foundation of “against” – in particular the so-called “non-charismatic” (anti-charismatic) churches are “against” spiritual gifts and thereby the Holy Spirit. Yikes!

    Concerning politics, this morning while still waking up and before reading this post, I was thinking something along the lines of:

    As long as men continue to exalt one of their own to god-like position and power, our Father in Heaven will make certain he, or she, is a complete schmuck.

    I’ve been trying to think of a better last word all morning! ;)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lol, “schmuck” seems quite perfect to me! :-)

      And ohhhh! I remember my old label of being in a “non-denominational” church. I was quite proud of that, lol. Makes no sense now, looking back, although at the heart of it was a desire to not be divisive.

      Liked by 1 person

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