It’s OK to think that your work is Godly, that you are answering a call and playing the part God assigned to you.
It’s not OK to therefore think that anyone you feel opposes you is unGodly, that they are speaking against God and all that is holy, and therefore they are evil and you are empowered to attack and silence them.
It is OK to think that you hear the voice of God in your life. It’s not OK to think that you know what God would do in any situation and are therefore empowered to do it to others.
The problem isn’t “I’m acting for God.”
The problem is “I’m acting for God and you aren’t.”
Or worse. “I am acting for God and you challenge me, so you are acting against God.”
This is the leap that all too many who listen to preachy preachers — those who externalize the challenge and urge us to wall off offenders — end up making, that if they are good others are evil. If all that counts are achieving what we believe to be God’s goals, then the ends always justify the means.
Teachy preachers — those say that the challenge is internal and urge us to learn and grow in compassion & openness everyday — end up focusing on the process of struggle. If we can’t know the mind of God, if the mind of God holds both sunshine and hurricanes, then no one of us can hold the true answer, and answers can only be found when we come together representing many points of view and grow to consensus and acknowlegement.
This is what I fear when I see “pit bulls in lipstick” attack others. They see themselves as Godly and therefore anyone who opposes them is unGodly, and any means to silence and defeat them is sanctified. The ends always justify the means, if you believe that God cares more about the ends than the means.
McCain was losing, so he got some followers of Karl Rove around him. They decided that staying principled and losing was not something they could countenance, so the decision was made to put the end over the means, the results over process, the expediency over integity.
I just believe that when you end up feeling that you can treat others like they are evil and unGodly, rather than just as humans playing their part in the sweep of creation, you aren’t coming from an attempt to be more open, compassionate and committed to dignity & engagement.
And that, I think misses the mark.