Friday, April 17, 2009

fear and trust; naivity and paranoia

My senior year of college I had a coworker from Latin America who was seriously seeking for answers to life. I called another friend attending a nearby university, and asked him if he could meet us at a nearby park one afternoon to talk. Both had last minutes obstacles and neither friend showed up, but my other college friend was upset that a) I didn't get his message and b) I went to a park (I couldn't invite my co-worker to the dorm) to meet a guy I only knew from work. I laughed at him for being paranoid, but some of his comments did get me to thinking.

Where do we draw the line between trusting in Christ to protect us and fearing the evil that surrounds us? When is it naive to trust people and paranoid to be suspicious of everyone around us?

A few years back I visited a ministry that had its office in a church in North Raleigh. To reach the ministry, I had to speak to a receptionist behind a glass window who made me sign/register before the elevator was opened to allow me to go up. That really bothered me. Had I been a teenager going to speak to a pastor, there's no way under earth's bright sun that I would have signed my name saying where I was going or why. I understand when we reach out to the homeless or those struggling with sin's depravity, we run the risk of facing the dangers of evil. I think we ought to be "wise as serpents and harmless as doves". I also find it interesting that sometimes Christ sent the disciples out with absolutely nothing, and then later he told them to buy weapons. Different locations, different times, different people? We're not told.
Given the increasing amount of mass shootings, specifically those in churches, I do think we have to seriously consider what is wise and safe. Yet somehow the thought of the church hiding behind closed doors (whether they be locked, bullet proof, or id card protected) really disturbs me. I'm not sure what the correct answer is at this point, but somehow telling someone that God is big enough to save them and heal them while sitting behind locked church doors seems a little ironic.


gypsy@Hebrews11:13 said...

Thought provoking post, Monica! And forgive my ignorance, but where does Christ tell his disciples to buy weapons?

Monica said...

Luke 22