Just Courage

by Gary A. Haugen

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” - Edmund Burke (on the last page)

“Truth be told, sometimes I'd really rather have some light in my little word than be the light of the world.” p. 30

“Lured away from their villages with promises of a good job in another city or country, millions of women and girls are abducted into forced prostitution and compelled to endure an endless nightmare of sexual assault inside the backrooms of brothels and bars.

Rather than look away from such ugliness, Christians have to actually go looking for it.

…These women and girls suffer alone, out of sight and out of mind - so someone has to go find them…

And when we find the victims, we find they are not suffering by accident. They aren't suffering because of bad luck or a bad storm or a bad harvest or a bad bacteria. They are suffering because violent people want them to suffer. Violence is intentional.” p. 51

“Most days, the weight of triumphant evil and violence in our world feels utterly crushing. I think many Christians would avail themselves of the courage God offers if they thought there was a chance that it would actually do any good. But given the dark headlines that assault us day after day, defeating injustice doesn't seem very plausible. In fact, it feels rather naive or immodest to imagine that we could actually make a difference in the face of massive, aggressive evil and violence in the world.

While these discouraging musings are certainly understandable, we should know that they are utterly unimportant to God. First, such notions of hopelessness say to God: You are a God who calls your people to ministry without providing any power to actually do it. If that is what we honestly believe, we should just clearly say so. Though the Bible doesn't say this about God's character, it's okay for us to say it. Acknowledging that we are struggling with what the Bible teaches about the character of God is often the first, best step to authentic faith. Indeed, as Dallas Willard points out in Renovation of the Heart, we don't believe something by merely saying we believe it, or even when we believe that we believe it. We believe something when we act as if it were true.” p. 76

“What sometimes looks like confident hard-charging activity in the world is frequently just nervous energy generated by what terrifies us. The fear that God won't accept us without our merit badges. The fear that people won't love us if we don't get As on our projects. The fear that our life isn't significant if its worth can't be measured in the quality and quantity of our things.” p. 106

“Jesus asks parents to make yet another choice. Are we raising our children to be safe or to be brave? Are we raising our children to be smart or to be loving? Are we raising them to be successful or significant?” p. 123

“We recruit hundreds of these Christian young people at the top of their game and send them off to very tough places to go serve needy and hurting people. This is, of course, a tough step of faith for these young people, but it is a traumatizing leap of faith for their parents. For twenty-plus years these parents have been plowing the faith and love of Jesus into their children. And then shockingly, their sons and daughters turn around and start acting as if it's all actually true. They simply go and do it! And their parents struggle. Most struggle really well - but I think all are surprised by how unprepared they are for the test.” p. 124

books/just_courage_by_gary_a._haugen.txt · Last modified: 2009/11/14 20:29 by grant