Tamára Lunardo

Author & Editor

Monday

20

June 2011

41

COMMENTS

Make Me a Roof Wrecker

Written by , Posted in faith, life, Uncategorized

Like so many Southern towns, mine is full of Bible thumpers. They are loud and insistent and zealous that you might come to agree with them. Very often their message is skewed; almost always they draw attention to themselves.

Not long ago, one tiny church here managed to cause an international uproar and city-wide embarrassment with its vociferous anger. A walk through our university’s liberal arts plaza is often accompanied by the impassioned shouts of a preacher assuring sorority and fraternity members of their place in hell. Even shopping at a grocery store in this town can be stressful, as a friend of mine found– she was accosted and then followed through the aisles by a woman intent on converting her right there, like an item to be crossed off a shopping list.

And I take note of these reckless approaches across my town with sadness because I know what these Bible thumpers want to do– I know they want to bring people to Jesus– and I see that all they really do is drive people away to anger or toward an angry god in fear.

This week’s sermon at my church was based on the story of Jesus’ healing of a paraplegic man. A huge crowd was gathered to hear Jesus speak at a home, and the crowd was so thick that there wasn’t even room left outside the door. But the friends of a paraplegic man knew how great his need of healing was; they knew they had to get him to Jesus. So they did whatever it took to get him there.

As our pastor explained how these men dug into and removed a section of the roof so they could lower their friend in, I thought, I would be so pissed if that were my house. But then I thought of how desperately I have felt the need to bring my dearest ones to Jesus, and I got it: When you have intimately experienced your own need and have found it met in God, your love for your friends compels you to get them into His presence, whatever it takes.

But when I look at these men’s bold approach, I see a few things that separate them from the Bible thumpers, and I think these things make all the difference– I see what it really takes. The Bible thumpers use fear to bring anyone within earshot to their point of view; The roof wreckers use love to bring their friend to Jesus.

Fear drives away. Love draws near.

Threatening those who disagree, shouting at passers-by, or hounding strangers inspires anger. Intentionally caring for the people right there in your life inspires love.

Bringing people to a point of view helps nothing. Bringing people to Jesus helps everything.

God, forbid I ever be a Bible thumper. Make me a roof wrecker.

  • http://educlaytion.wordpress.com educlaytion

    “The Bible thumpers use fear to bring anyone within earshot to their point of view; The roof wreckers use love to bring their friend to Jesus.”
    Reminds me of 1 John 4:18. Nice.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.wordpress.com Tamara

      Great verse– thanks.

  • http://messiahmom.wordpress.com kristinherdy

    Totally agree with everything you’ve said here.

    I had my share of Bible Thumpers when I worked on a college campus while pregnant with my oldest daughter. My fingers were too fat for my wedding rings, so guess who heard enough about hellfire and damnation to last a lifetime?

    I want to help bring about love for a loving father, not fear of a divine abuser.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.wordpress.com Tamara

      A loving father, not a divine abuser. Yes.

    • http://www.joyinthisjourney.com Joy

      Wow. That’s awful, Kristin.

  • http://ironicmom.wordpress.com Leanne Shirtliffe

    “Fear drives away. Love draws near.” Yup.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.wordpress.com Tamara

      Thanks, friend.

  • http://learnknow.wordpress.com Susanna

    This is awesome!!!! Every word spoke to me.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.wordpress.com Tamara

      I’m so glad; thanks for letting me know.

  • Mom

    Absolutely love this. You are so right!

    • http://tamaraoutloud.wordpress.com Tamara

      Thanks, Mom! Love you. 🙂

  • http://drgtjustwondering.blogspot.com Diana Trautwein

    LOVE this post, Tamara. Thank you. Since I missed church yesterday, I got a great short shot of beautiful truth here this morning. I am grateful.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.wordpress.com Tamara

      Grateful to be able to share it.

  • http://reconcilingviewpoints.wordpress.com reconciling viewpoints

    Amen, sister! You hit the nail on the head with this one….

    Jesus told his disciples to make disciples by “teaching them as I taught you”, and how did Jesus make disciples? By building relationships and loving people. Without love, someone that’s preaching/thumping is just “a banging gong”, etc.

    Great post.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.wordpress.com Tamara

      “By building relationships and loving people”– exactly.

  • http://www.hopefulleigh.blogspot.com HopefulLeigh

    Love this! That is a profound distinction.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.wordpress.com Tamara

      Thanks, Leigh. I think the distinction makes all the difference.

  • http://somespecieseattheiryoung.com Chase McFadden

    Good stuff, Tamara. Sort of like coaching. A coach can get the intended short-term results by inspiring either fear or love in his or her players, but only one of those methods lasts.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.wordpress.com Tamara

      Great analogy– thanks.

  • http://www.lifewithbellymonster.blogspot.com Liz McLennan (Bellymonster)

    Love draws near.

    Beautiful.

    Roof wrecker.

    Perfect.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.wordpress.com Tamara

      I love the image of the roof wreckers. So boldly loving.

  • EllieAnn

    Yes! Thanks so much for sharing this.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.wordpress.com Tamara

      It’s my pleasure. Thanks so much for reading.

  • http://rockerlifecoach.wordpress.com rockerlifecoach

    Thanks for you view today. I only home that I may become a roof wrecker and not a bible thumper myself. Rock on

    • http://tamaraoutloud.wordpress.com Tamara

      That “rock on” made me smile– thanks, and back atcha. 🙂

  • http://thelifeartist.wordpress.com thelifeartist

    I absolutely LOVE that last line.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.wordpress.com Tamara

      Thank you; I know your heart hears it, Erika.

  • http://gravatar.com/robshep robshep

    Wow! Great stuff. I would say home run post.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.wordpress.com Tamara

      Thanks, Rob. Glad you liked it.

  • http://thisistemporary.wordpress.com/ Christine – The Cost of Following

    Roof wrecker! I get it!
    So… the roof is… a boundary… I have to get through, to bring my loved one to Jesus.

    So what’s an example of a roof today? (Tamara, or anyone).

    For some I’d say it is the church’s approach to evolution… but how do you tear that down?

    • http://reconcilingviewpoints.wordpress.com reconciling viewpoints

      that’s a deep, tough question, Christine!

      The approach to evolution is one. The question of how literal we are take scriptures on hell is another. How about gays? Do we say “you have to change to be accepted”, or do we love and accept them first and let God handle that part? Tough stuff……

      On the evolution question, I think there’s a pretty decent segment of Christianity that believes in an old Earth created by God. I look forward to the day when the Church will teach kids that “God created… some believe He did it in a literal 6 days, while others believe the timing wasn’t literal and may have been a long time. The important thing to remember is that God created….”

      I actually wrote a post on my blog on the evolution question and how sometimes the church treats it as an “either/or”: http://bit.ly/kf6x4H

    • http://tamaraoutloud.wordpress.com Tamara

      I love that you found that analogy in there. Great question to think about for sure.

  • http://www.thistreasuredlife.com Amy

    I absolutely love this line: God, forbid I ever be a Bible thumper. Make me a roof wrecker.

    I am going to strive every day to be a roof wrecker. May those I touch see me as a roof wrecker and not a bible thumper. 😉

    • http://tamaraoutloud.wordpress.com Tamara

      Awesome.

  • http://rasjacobson.wordpress.com Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson

    Tamara, everyone has highlighted the bestest lines. But this really is an example of how your writing is just jumping off the page. I feel like you should be up on somebody’s pulpit, sharing this message. It is beautiful – and I think it speaks to all the major religions – although these days I’m feeling a little shaky on the Qu’aran.

    Do roof-wreckers have to be Christian? Is there room for a Jewish chick to tear open the roof? I promise to put it back on even. But I do believe in goodness in its many incarnations. 😉

    • http://tamaraoutloud.wordpress.com Tamara

      This is humbling and encouraging. Thank you, friend.

  • http://kaseymathews.com kasey mathews

    What a beautifully thought out and poignant pice of writing. Thank you!

  • http://xanaxorrunningshoes.com Jeanna

    Loved this post too, and completely agree. The bible thumping can be really terrifying to people… they threaten them with hell etc… that’s not the way… the way is to show them the love and mercy of Christ… not the fear of hell.

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