Opposing Things and Breaking Stuff
When you are part of the home crowd, you necessarily want the visiting team to lose. You want them to fumble the ball. You want their kicks to go wide. Their punts blocked. Their passes intercepted. To be for your own team is to be against the opposition. Even the cheerleaders know that.
A conversation partner once criticized Christians for being against so many things. He suggested, “Why can’t we simply be for things?”
“Give me an example of something you are for,” I queried.
“Women,” he replied. (How original!)
“Why is it even necessary to be for women?” I lured.
Headlong into my trap, he exclaimed, “That’s a stupid question. For the longest time, women couldn’t even vote in this country. Haven’t you heard of the glass ceiling? What about equal pay?”
“What is so wrong with any of that?” I continued, “I hope you aren’t asking me to be against discrimination, against sexism, against double standards. I prefer to be for women and against nothing.”
Humanity wasn’t always so confused. By those who know their biblical history, King Josiah is remembered as one of the good guys. He was for Yahweh, as we read in 2 Kings 22-23. He was for the covenant. For worship of God and obedience to Him. For the people. For truth.
It didn’t take him long to realize what being for God required him to be against. First, he was against apathy, complacency, and in the midst of them, untorn robes. His robes actually fared well compared to the idols which he ordered the high priest to remove from the temple of the Lord- ensnaring idols devoted to Baal, Asherah, and the starry hosts. So against idolatry had Josiah’s for-ness of God made him, he burned the temple Asherah pole, ground what was left of it to powder and scattered the dust. He destroyed the living quarters of the prostitutes who had defiled the temple.
Smashing stones, piling up rubble, raiding tombs, defiling shrines, and ridding Judah of idolatrous priests, mediums and spiritists, Josiah showed himself to be against many things. There’s no doubt that if some of today’s squishy-spined, hipster pastors were alive in Josiah’s day they would have decried all his prophetic against-ness. Assuming they’d have been just as dense as our contemporaries, the irony of being against his against-ness wouldn’t have dawned on them. But who cares what they would have thought? Here’s God’s opinion of him as preserved for all times in 2 Kings 22:25, “Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the Lord as he did- with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength.”
Now, on to you, Christian friend. If you spot an elderly woman being assaulted in a Kroger parking lot, ask yourself, “How would King Josiah handle this?” In being for her, would he express to her his sincere hopes that her situation improve? Would he offer to hold her grocery bags so her eggs wouldn’t crack in the struggle? Or would he pound some punk into next Wednesday?
And if your local pseudo-Christian college is using junior’s tuition to pay a lecturer from Planned Parenthood to poison young unsuspecting minds, ask yourself, “Would King Josiah sit there like a lump and tell you everything he is for? Or would he get out there and make a righteous ruckus?”
Be polite and respectful insofar as it is possible, but as long as you’ve made it clear exactly what noble thing you are for and why, you need never apologize for being against its opposite. So, go break some glass while you still can, because in heaven there will be nothing to be against.
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