Maybe it's just me, but if I get criticised or attacked (which happens in my job because I work for the government and generally no-one is happy with the free service they get) it hurts, can play on my mind a bit BUT I don't have that rise within me to want to defend myself. When my friends are vaguely criticised I want to seek out the perpetrator and have words. I'm not sure why this is - I process things myself and don't end up feeling scarred, so I probably should trust that my friends will do much the same.
One of the biggest times I want to defend someone is when my husband is criticised - that happens so
regularly because he is a radio announcer on LifeFM (Christian radio station) and he knows how much I find it frustrating so usually he doesn't even bother to tell me cos it's no longer an issue for him... I guess many of you will have picked up from his blog that people argue with him on points of opinion (as he does vice versa actively) and I think this is constructive (usually). While there are a few attacks in comments about him on his blog as a person
, the majority of such criticisms are unseen- they go via e-mail to him or his boss, or friends or mass e-mails to people other than him. Even if
my husband was a humanistic homosexual heretic who needed to read the bible because he was leading people astray, indeed he's been called the antichrist himself... I can't see how labels, calls to pray against him and attacks of his faith and standing as a Christian are at all loving, grace-filled, helpful ways to bring a lost sheep back into the fold?! I mean please... stop the tall poppy syndrome of cutting people down!
I just want to say how much I admire him... The people who label him don't get to hear his first words in the morning 'I lubs you' in very muffled sleepy voice when I wake him up with a goodbye kiss when I go to work. They don't hear his actual opinion on most things at all- they assume
his opinion based on what he says (not taking into account that the job description of a talkback host is to present the opposite viewpoint presented to draw discussion and belief out). The people who criticise his faith obviously haven't appreciated where he is thanks to Christ and his personal choices despite a difficult childhood and abuse - where many would have insecurities he has freedom. They don't hear his agony over injustice, marriage break-ups, people's infidelity, abuse of any kind, tragedy and generally things that Jesus was concerned with. They don't see our visa statement with koorong books (an Aussie website for Christian books - sorry Manna fans, this will change when Manna has an easier website), fees for study at Carey Baptist college, and his generosity to a range of Christian faith based organisations (not to mention the vast amount of time he spends reading, living and breathing his faith) . The people who attack him as a person don't see how he holds my hand down the driveway to make sure I don't slip, and open the door for me and check through the house to make sure I'm safe before he goes to work. They haven't seen him play games with children and make them feel like they are the coolest child in the world. They haven't seen him guard and measure his words to ensure he builds me up rather than complain about how I'm so detailed on things and want things done when I want them done. They don't see how excited he gets with a good find of second hand clothing as he's prioritised to spend money on helping people (and God's creation). The people who pray against him don't listen (they may hear) the people who have been drawn towards Christ and the word of God through his openness to them. They don't think about the lifestyle he/we live to do something he/we believe/s in.
I could go on, but I don't want to reveal too many of the intimacies that a husband and wife see in each other. He's a fantastic man and I wish that people who criticise and attack him would just leave him be. Fine, argue opinions, but don't attack him as a person! I know that's not going to happen given the public job he has- but I can wish, and I would have thought it a reasonable wish given that the attacks are 99% from Christians?...
Final note, my husband is not a humanist, or a homosexual, or a heretic, he daily reads the bible (including study and meditation) and as far as I can tell, he's not the antichrist.