Jan 24, 2007

My Heart Was in the Right Place

It's the thought that counts.

She really meant well.

Do the ends justify the means? Is being sincere more important than doing the right thing? Let's examine three stories of people whose hearts were in the right place.

Or were they?

A couple years ago, a group of people (it's probably best not to identify them) decided that I should not have the right to be a mother to my own children. Apparently, these people did not approve of some of the rules of our family, such as homeschooling, modesty, the role of women (after all I've written about this, I guess I can't please anyone in this area!), higher education, getting to the marriage altar, and probably countless other areas, including which church we attended. This group of people took it upon themselves to "rescue" my children from the horrible lifestyle and abuse they thought we must be inflicting upon them. Not once did any of these people come visit our home. Not once did any of these people ask me any questions to find out the validity of their concerns. There was absolutely no attempt made at finding out the truth of the situation, but there was a grand conspiracy to relieve me of my right to parent my own beloved children. As the first part of this plan unfolded and I lost one child, I was absolutely devastated. I thank the Lord that He intervened when the State attempted to remove the other two as well. Imagine my shock and my horror when I eventually found out about this grand scheme by those I thought I could trust, only to hear them justify themselves, "Our hearts were in the right place."

One of my favorite Bible stories is not a very enjoyable story, but one that directs much of my life. The Ark of the Covenant was not in Jerusalem, where it should have been, so King David set out to retrieve it from the house of Abinadab. David's heart was in the right place. They put the Ark on a cart pulled by oxen and then they had a fantastic praise and worship service. Wow! The Spirit of the Lord must truly be in that place with that kind of praise and worship going on! And then the oxen tripped. As the Ark began to tumble, Uzzah lovingly put up his hand to steady it. Surely his heart was in the right place. But God struck him dead! Didn't God see that David's heart was in the right place, that he only wanted to get the Ark to its rightful place? Didn't God see that Uzzah's heart was in the right place, that he only wanted to protect the precious Ark of God? Wasn't it the thought that counts? Did it really matter that God had previously told them how to transport the Ark, that God's ways were better than man's ways, that if they had followed God's method they would not have to be concerned about the safety of the Ark?

Fast forward to Kent Hovind. I truly believe that his heart is in the right place, that he is very sincere in what he believes, that he means well. But just because his heart is in the "right" place, does it follow that he did the right thing? If you do something for the right reason, but it is not the right thing to do, is it just the thought that counts? I will continue to support Kent Hovind, but I believe it is time for him to search his heart and see if it is really in the "right" place. Right now, that "right" place is in jail. In this case, are the means truly worthwhile? Is it worth it to be so right in your beliefs that you lose your freedom, your family, your ministry? If those beliefs stand and fall on the infallibility of God's Word, on preaching the gospel, on the reputation of our Lord, then we should we willing to give up everything for the sake of Christ. But is it really worth it to stake our whole life on whether or not we agree with the interpretations of the tax laws? Kent may be 100% right in his stand; I'm sure his heart was in the right place. But do his current ends justify his means? I pray that he reconsiders what is truly important in life.

If you want to really get my dander up, just excuse someone's actions by telling me that their heart was really in the right place. If the people who planned on taking my children away truly had their heart in the right place, they would not have sinned by plotting kidnappings and false abuse reports to the State. If their hearts were truly in the right place, they would have used Matthew 18 or possibly even just attempted a conversation with me.

If King David's and Uzzah's hearts were in the right place, they would not have disobeyed a direct command from the Lord on how spiritual duties were to be accomplished. Having a great praise and worship service does not impress the Lord when there is sin in the camp. Obedience is always better than sacrifice.

If Kent Hovind were to realize that not all taxes in life are fair, that all laws are not even adequate, that if he is called by God to preach the gospel through his creation seminars and debates, that his family needs him more than the prisoners do, that this issue is not a "do-or-die" issue, Kent may still have a chance for freedom after all. I know he thinks his heart is in the right place, but if it were truly in the "right" place, Kent would be in the "right" place as well -- at home where he belongs.

Our hearts cannot be in the right place if it leads to sin or grave consequences that do not ultimately glorify God. Let us say instead, "Thy will be done."


Gramma Carol said...

Sometimes these things happen to get us to the place where the Lord wants us, not necessarily where we'd like to be. God is not shocked that Kent Hovind is in prison. There are men there who need yhe Lord, and who better to bring it to them and help them with there reading and science than Kent Hovind. We as Christians can not know a man's heart, only God knows it. We will do good just praying for the man and his family without speculation. I disagree with you that his family needs him more than the prisoners. Those mrn need to hear the truth and I believe Kent Hovind is God's envoy for the purpose of leading those prisoners to the Lord. His family is saved and what they need are the prayers of the saints.

simplegifts3 said...

Jen, when I first looked at your blog, I noticed whom you endorse. I just had an idle thought at the time that Ken Ham once said Hovind and others were using arguments for creation that have been debunked as arguments. The chief one was the argument based on the thin layer of moon dust the astronauts found.

They had predicted a thick layer of accumulated moon dust, and so made appropriate landing pads with huge square footage, but found a much thin layer.

So creationists used that to show that the cosmos must be much younger than predicted by the evolutionists because not that much dust had accumulated due to the universe being much younger.

But it turns out that the original calculations for dust accumulation were not right. So that argument should not be used, because it was based on faulty calculations.

But I admire what you have said about Hovind's character and his concern for people, and the integrity of the book of Genesis.

And I have thought and thought about these tax issues, have looked up articles that are too complicated for me to understand, and have tried to make a case that Hovind is right in what he is doing.

But one thought that came to mind is that the America Revolution was fought not because of taxation, but because of taxation sans representation. And we have represetation. Sometimes it is pretty crummy representation, but it is there. And that thought was what tilted me back to my original view on this subject.

God will use this for good, and I will offer prayers for Hovind and his family.

Jen said...

Lynn, I realize that some people might think that a link to another website or person is a full 100% endorsement for that content. I've gone back and forth in my mind over whether or not to post a disclaimer, but I really don't like it when other people do that, so for right now, I've decided against posting a disclaimer.

In my life, I don't think there is anyone I agree with 100% and probably very few that even come close to that category! I like a lot of Kent Hovind has to say and I really like his heart for people, but I have not researched a whole lot of specifics on his teachings. I've seen his videos all once, and some more than once, but that was enough to at least get me thinking, and thinking is still the stage where I am in most of his ideas.

Maybe as I go through this logic class, I will be able to use some of this teaching in combination with creation science and reason through some of these things, if they are important to me.

Do I really care how much dust was on the moon? At this point, no. But maybe someday that will be important enough to study!

Yes, taxation with representation is very important, which is why I think you should consider again just what you said. Are the taxes that Kent is being required to pay represented fairly by our current laws? I'm not saying anything one way or another, but it is something to seriously consider.

I might do another post on Kent this weekend, if I have time.

simplegifts3 said...

"Yes, taxation with representation is very important, which is why I think you should consider again just what you said. Are the taxes that Kent is being required to pay represented fairly by our current laws? I'm not saying anything one way or another, but it is something to seriously consider."

I have to emphasize I don't understand a lot about these issues.

One thing I neglected to mention was judicial tyranny, and legislating from the bench, and flouting justice because of technicalities. The worst case I can think of is what happened with Terri Schaivo, however.

Now, in Kent's case, my understanding is the Supreme Court has already made some kind of ruling (not based on Kent's case), which, if I understood it, I *probably* would think is unfair. Just as I think Roe vs. Wade is bad law. But I don't know.

If I am right in what I read (and I am willing to be corrected -- it was from news sources that I got this information -- then the lower courts abide by what the Supreme Court says.

So not only do we have to deal with crummy representation in this country, we also have to deal with unjust interpretation of the law, and with the judiciary in fact, legislating.

Let me just put it this way -- Kent may be right, but I agree with you -- was this an issue to be willing to be jailed for? My thinking is that he would have done much better to campaign about it during election time, and abide by those appointed to interpret the law and their decisions.

I do have admiration for pro-life protesters who are willing to be jailed for blocking access to abortion clinics, so please don't get me wrong, just as I admire all the blacks who peacefully protested in the South during the days of segregation, and were willing to sit in jail for it.

Right or wrong, I just don't think this was a "hill to die on," and on that point, I think we agree. It could have been fought politically, IMO.

And I sent the previous comment without having read your other entry, where you detail the court proceedings. I appreciate you posting it.

simplegifts3 said...

Oh, and I was saddened to hear you tell what happened to your family. I had not heard this before. I am glad the Lord intervened in your behalf.

Kathleen F. said...

Jen and Lynn,

I'm starting to recognize how smart and intelligent you both are and how you can talk about other things besides the scandals that are so prevalent in Christian ministries today. I understand how easy it is to get into debate with people even on things you disagree, and be civil and discreet. I have been reconsidering some of the content on my own blog, to reflect a more gracious tone, while still standing firm in my beliefs.

It's ministries like the Peacemaker Ministries that really have encouraged people who claim Christ to reach out in unity with each other.

Jen said...

Bless you, dear Kate! You have no idea how God has used you to encourage me tonight when I was really feeling down. You have been heavy on my heart and I am so grateful for this little bit of hope. Thank you so much!

simplegifts3 said...

Kate, I appreciate you sharing this with Jen. I have been thinking about you more than the issues I've been talking about, to be honest, so this was very good to read. Let's all be in prayer for each other, for Jesus is our Peace, and without Him, there isn't any lasting peace to be had, anywhere.