Kevin’s Conversations: When Is Social Advocacy Called For?

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24 Responses

  1. Paige says:

    Good thoughts, Kevin.. and amen to your last comment. “May God give us wisdom”.

    It does seem that there are causes demanding our support and energy all around. There are only so many hours in the day and so much money to live on and then donate to various needs and causes. The current marketing methods of harassing donors blows me away. If I give $10 to Steve Brown’s “ministry” or Samaritan’s Purse, I will receive monthly letters of begging for at least 2 years until I ask to be removed from the mailing list.
    They more than burned up my 10 bucks harassing me for more money.

    Having been largely disempowered in my own life, I am now convinced, for my 2cents, that my ‘ministry’ is my home and neighbors, adult kids and grands and people I interact with at church and the grocery store. The main “ministry” to just trying to not be a jerk. And maybe taking a meal to a family in distress. That’s about it.

    Either God is in control of His Universe or He’s not. I believe he is.
    If He puts a need in my path, I will do my best to help.

  2. Michael says:

    Well said, Paige!

  3. Jean says:

    Paige wrote:

    “Having been largely disempowered in my own life, I am now convinced, for my 2cents, that my ‘ministry’ is my home and neighbors, adult kids and grands and people I interact with at church and the grocery store. The main “ministry” to just trying to not be a jerk. And maybe taking a meal to a family in distress. That’s about it.”

    That sums up what I think too.

  4. em ... again says:

    Kevin’s wise words (and folks’ responses here) give me hope for future of the country…

    we do live in a strange world where people earn their living producing propaganda that slants toward their employer’s benefit (that includes the Federal Government) and others of no faith whatsoever earn a good living hustling bucks for Christian causes – i give a small (in Paige’s ballpark) once a year donation to an Indian (Native American) school and another to St. Jude’s – no other “causes” get money from me, but the people they pay to raise money for them send me stuff – you should see my collection of greeting cards, calculators, calendars, daytimers, pens and keyrings (no i don’t send them back, i didn’t ask for them in the first place) – they go to Goodwill or Salvation Army (don’t know what they do with them)
    it’s probably a generational thing, but jumping on the bandwagon of public causes, not my own has always made me uncomfortable… unless it’s just hunger or thirst, it’s hard enough to care about the near and dear without becoming a busy-body 🙂

  5. Xenia says:

    If I was ever inclined to send money to one of these ministries it would be a 20 dollar bill in an envelope with no return address.

  6. Josh the Baptist says:

    “When Is Social Advocacy Called For?”

    When I know the situation personally, as in, not only online.

  7. Descended says:

    Another question I thought of which is wrapped up in your thoughts, Kevin, is How do we know when we are not trampling all over God’s chastisement of or graciousness toward an individual or group?

    Maybe God intended to jail Saeed to let Satan deal with him (I dunno, maybe?) and maybe God has been gracious toward Mixon for reasons unbeknownst to us. Seems when the masses get behind something, we are usually duped in many regards.

    I guess patience and diligence are two possible answers.

  8. London says:

    I can not even get my head around this question. When is it “called for”?

    It’s called for whenever there is injustice.

  9. Kevin H says:

    Financial support is a clear way of advocating for or supporting some person or organization or cause. That can come with its own hang-ups as has been mentioned here.

    When it came to Saeed, I never gave a dime of money, but I spent time raising awareness of his plight and even took the time to contact many governmental leaders on his behalf. So I did not spend money, but I spent time.

    What about when we do something as simple as voice an opinion about a situation? If I were to say to my friend that I don’t think Joe Mixon should be allowed in the NFL, then in some small way I could be influencing the way he thinks about it or possibly even what actions he may take on the situation. If I express the same thing in the comments of this blog, my opinion reaches a few more. If I write it into an article, it reaches even more. Now my opinion may have very little sway, but there is the potential it could affect how others think and act. So even though I may have not taken any real action on a situation, in a small way, couldn’t even expressing an opinion on one of these situations even be a form of advocacy for or against someone/something? And we do that type of thing all the time.

  10. Kevin H says:

    Descended,

    It is possible when we get behind one of these causes, we could be working against God’s designs. But it is also possible we could be working with God when we join a cause.

    When the masses get behind something, certainly there have been times where they have been duped. I don’t know if I would say that this is the case “usually”.

  11. Kevin H says:

    London,

    A couple things come to mind. Yes, we should always be against injustice. But we just can’t get involved in every single scenario we hear of where there appears to have been injustice. What things do we consider when choosing which ones to get involved in?

    And secondly, how sure do we need to be of the “injustice” before we decide to get involved? Not everything is always as its made out to be.

  12. Duane Arnold says:

    I think part of the problem is that we lack a “truth filter”… especially for some of us that are older. We became used to the idea that the government and government officials lied about Vietnam and the bombing of Cambodia. Then Watergate, Iran-Contra, Mr. Clinton and his intern, WMDs in Iraq… the list is exhausting. So often we are asked to make judgements about situations in which, as they say, “truth is the first casualty”. When, however, injustice is blatant and/or proven we are faced with another situation – “What do we do about the truth we now know.” In the latter instance, I think we bear a responsibility to advocate for justice and integrity. Unfortunately, these days it comes down to either popular protest or actions that hurt the “bottom line”. Have no doubt, if management believed that the drafting of Mixon would hurt the bottom line, he would not have been drafted. It is a sad commentary on contemporary society that they did not believe that it would.

  13. Steve Wright says:

    I’ve deliberately taken a vow of silence on the Mixon discussion given the college connection.

    However, I will say that comparing a one-time act of a person who had been a legal adult for two days (no matter how heinous) and the repetitive, consistent behavior that has been reported concerning Saeed seems like a poor comparison. I understand it since Mixon is the trending news story given the draft.

    Frankly, I ask myself how it is that Penn St has a football program or North Carolina (and Roy Williams) continue to be slobbered on by college hoops analysts at ESPN – given the nature and duration of the scandals at those “great institutions of higher learning”

  14. Kevin H says:

    I guess I just can’t win in my choice of examples or analogies.

    The point of comparing Saeed and Mixon was threefold. One, they are both stories that gained national attention and with which we are familiar here at the blog. Two, one (Saeed) was a case in advocacy for a person while the other (Mixon) is a case of advocacy against a person. And three, one (Saeed) is an example where the public was deceived to a significant degree while the other (Mixon) would seem to be pretty unambiguous with the existence of the video. The comparison was not to say that the cases were similar in nature.

    Penn State football and North Carolina’s sports programs can be justifiably questioned.

  15. Bob Sweat says:

    Kevin,
    I feel your pain!

  16. Steve Wright says:

    Well…..I did say I understood the comparison. 🙂

  17. Bob Sweat says:

    You just thought it was a poor one.

  18. Kevin H says:

    Bob,

    Does that mean you’re going to undertake an advocacy for the pain I have experienced? 🙂

  19. Steve Wright says:

    Please forgive the expression of my thoughts, Bob. 🙂

    (Actually, Kevin, I think the juxtaposition of the two stories – the for vs. against, the video evidence vs. none etc. is very well stated and developed)

  20. Descended says:

    Kevin FWIW I thought your analogies work well, as Steve W has pointed out being the armchair plaintiff, judge, and jury is very tempting.

  21. Bob Sweat says:

    Steve,

    It’s always nice to get an apology from you. 🙃

  22. brian says:

    I know this most likely is heretical maybe even demonic but here goes. There is nothing at all prophetic, spiritual, God ordained about a nuclear exchange, even a limited one. One thing happens in a nuclear exchange, people die, that’s what happens. Children, women, men, elderly, disabled, etc. Die, horrid awful lingering deaths. Land in damaged for decades if not centuries, water the food supply air etc. I understand fulfilling some rhetorical made up “profit see” is more important than say 20 million people’s lives but maybe it should not be.

  23. JM says:

    I would proffer that the context within which the lying is occurring is also important. Within government, or in what are supposed to be institutions of higher learning, it is disconcerting at the least and has caused many to become discouraged and jaded. However, these cases of lying do not carry quite the weight of evil–or the penalty– as do those who deliberately confuse or obfuscate the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    When “laundering” the truth is done inside the Christian community, it is far worse. It is done, not just before men–but before God. Unfortunately, when this duping of the brethren becomes public, it also reinforces stereotypes of the easily-led believer surrounded by Charlatans who control their ever-willing saps. As one who has been mis-led in the past by some within the “Christian” community, I can attest that this is painful. It is why I don’t apologize for stringently questioning things or being uber careful as I age. Sadly, and perhaps worse, the other effect of these duplicitous dealings is to cause and even encourage the enemies of God to blaspheme because these heinous acts were, indeed, committed in the name of Christ.

    I contend that, the shortest distance between two points is still a straight line. By far it is also the easiest route. If we want to know if something is “Kosher”, we must be willing to do inquiry. There should be a list of reasonable/Scriptural questions to be asked before there is any commitment to help and we should be unashamed about doing so. Since we are finite and not omnipotent, it is the best we can do while here on earth. For those that follow behind us, it is the responsible thing to do. Equally important, and never to be negated of course, is humble prayer before the Lord. It would seem that anyone who is doing the right thing (whether true advocate or true victim) and is suffering for it, they would not mind the scrutiny. The Bereans were commended by Paul himself. There’s a clue there somewhere.

    If I may, I will add commentary about what I see as some grace in all of this. I like the story about the widow’s mite. She gave to a corrupt system, but did it from her heart. Christ commended her and we still tell her story. (As Christ predicted.) You can follow all the rules and do everything right and still be taken. People lie and are unpredictable, so that will be as good as it gets until we die and leave this earth. However, God knows that which is done in innocence. My conviction would be no loss of reward for those that gave with a true heart based upon the best knowledge they had at the time.

    John 3:20&21 says, “Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”

  24. John 20:29 says:

    “If I was ever inclined to send money to one of these ministries it would be a 20 dollar bill in an envelope with no return address”

    if i ever get my hands on a counterfeit bill, that’s what i’ll do with it 🙂 cuz i’m betting the person hired to open that envelope wouldn’t put cash on the stack of contributions – dunno

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