Bullhorns and Bob Dylan

I love Facebook.  Blogs. Instagram. Twitter.  All of it.

I look forward to seeing Tracey’s latest ocean adventure or chew on the profundity of Donald Miller or hear myself say “awww” each morning as I read Jen’s quotes posted to encourage all who stop by.  I love Catherine‘s Biblical wisdom and Mackenzie’s scientific brilliant wit.  I could swear I smelled the garlic as I read Brian‘s descriptive account of his and the fam’s adventures at their Tuscany cooking school and I was so happy to fete my sister when I saw she received award at work recognizing her accomplishments.  My nephew’s adventures as he settles in to his first apartment in LA would very possibly have not made its way on to my radar if not for social media, and without it, I might not have known to pray for Allie in the early days of her cancer.  And to miss my daily belly laugh, courtesy of Seth, or the hilarity that comes through Deanna’s or Junko‘s mommy musings … are you kidding me?  Quelle horreur.

It’s like having my own pleasant little neighborhood coffee shop where everyone knows my name and where I can poke my head in when I have a minute to sip a cup of joe as I hear quick updates from folks I wouldn’t otherwise see.  Call me Pollyanna, but it often feels like my own little Mayberry.  In that place, people often make statements about their truth, whatever that might be and although I may not always agree with their position, I appreciate hearing it as I see it as an opportunity to gain a little more insight into who they are.

But in an instant, that lovely atmosphere can get poisoned.  You know what I’m talking about: those times when it is as if someone walks into that corner meeting place with a bullhorn in hand and publicly blasts that person’s truth, and all of us on the sidelines are forced to witness the verbal carnage in front of us.  All it takes is a couple of acerbic volleys between two opposing points of view and bam,  we all just want to head for the door or at the very least, select “unfriend”.

Really, what could possibly be accomplished when we bash Kirk Cameron or the POTUS on our newsfeed?  Do we actually believe we’re going to change a person’s opinion about DOMA by blasting our viewpoint, or do we really think Christians are going to suddenly kick their God to the curb because someone bullies them on Facebook for their beliefs?

I just don’t think that clubbing someone over the head with a quote by Jon Stewart or Huck or the Huffington Post or even the Bible as a means to win an argument serves any purpose except to unnecessarily cause division. Sure, we need to stand for truth when the time is right and yes, we live in the land of free speech… but in that setting?  Just because we can… should we?

When I look at the whole counsel of Scripture, I see that no matter who He encountered in public, Jesus hit the core of everyone He met with love and in fact, said that love wins.

Every time.

My mother has always said “You can always say more, but you can never say less.”  Good advice, mom.

As I was chewing on all this the other day an old protest song came to my mind and before I knew it, I’d penned my own satirical rewrite as my own little protest.  I hope Bob doesn’t mind.


(Listen to Bob Dylan sing “The Times, They Are A Changin”)
Come gather ’round people wherever you roam
And see that the whole world around us has thrown
Us a curve ball that no one could guess would be shown
So many around us are hating
What if we looked inward to see how we’re prone
For the times, they are a changin’
Come right wings and liberals
Who shake hard your fists
And keep up the rancor and how you insist
That your bents and opinions are all catalysts
For the changes you think should be raging
For whoever wins now will be later to lose
And your ground, it’s slowly fading
Come family and old friends throughout the land
Do criticize what you can’t understand
And pound down your fist but the flame will be fanned
Insist the opposer’s worth blamin’
Though red or though blue, all opinions remand
And your cause, no one is listening
And God, what thinks You as this tumult abounds?
You must feel so saddened as Your kids expound
On their theories and slants as their prejudice unbounds
The twists on Your truth they are making
Straight on at a mirror we all need to gaze
At ourselves, we all need changing.

And in closing, some great advice from the best selling Book of all time:

“’I have the right to do anything,’ you say—but not everything is beneficial. ‘I have the right to do anything’—but not everything is constructive. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.'”
1 Corinthians 10:22
 “One of them, an expert in the law, tested Him with this question: ‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’ Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.’
Matthew 22:35-40

Sylvia Lange is a Christian women’s speaker who lives in Southern California.

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167 thoughts on “Bullhorns and Bob Dylan”

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  69. I love the quote from your mom. And I agree with you that a loving approach is best, in any medium: in person or online.

    I think the way we persuade others is simply by sharing our stories honestly and concretely. Tirades and volleying? Not gonna do it.

  70. What is it about us that mandates us to insist that what we believe is right, and therefore anyone who disagrees with us is wrong? Introduce religion or politics and you will immediately see the worst in people. Christian love turns to fear and hate. Political concern turns to personal aspiration and power. I enjoyed your version of Dylan’s classic. Unfortunately one has to be willing to see truth in the mirror before it can be seen- no matter what “side of the aisle” one is on. Most are not willing……

    1. When I made the decision to change my life 14 years ago, someone told me “most people don’t want this”. I couldn’t understand what he meant. But he went on to say that it’s HARD, and most people don’t want “hard”. I came to understand what he meant over time and now I agree with him… and you.
      (See my blog on this subject at http://www.sylvialangeministry.com/its-too-hard/.)

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    I love your words here. But I have to say it wasn’t until the second season of Veep did I finally realize what POTUS meant!

  72. This is one of the reasons I am not on Facebook…or Twitter…or MySpace (is that even around anymore?). It’s too easy to type hateful or hurtful or argumentative things, or talking points that will not make any difference to anyone in any meaningful way. Blogs are cool, people tend to stick to the subject at hand and share viewpoints in a civilized way most of the time.

  73. A well crafted and timely point. As I stare 60 in the mirror I’ve learned that one of the best things to say when presented with a view contrary to mine is not a rebuttal… but a sincere question; “That’s an interesting point, how did you arrive at it?” Often one of the two of us learns something new. Looking forward to your next blog.

  74. Love is above all. Online forums are tough because it is so easy to type away and either not think about how the words will read on the other side or not realize that others may not see the humor/joke in your post. I was taught a long time ago that life is all about relationships. If you don’t have a relationship with the person, you have no place correcting or advising them. Too many times we let our opinion become gospel instead of remembering that we are all on different levels in our spiritual walk. Beating each other up because we don’t agree doesn’t display the love that the Bible teaches.

  75. As always, your wisdom astounds us all. Thank you for standing up and being heard. Thank God for calling you and strengthening you to stand up and b I love you! Lindae heard!

  76. This is a different blog to be sure. Facebook and the other means of getting thoughts and opinions out are great when used with wisdom. As always your blogs are in your face points to ponder. By that I mean they are to the point and reach right down to where we are and who we are. Like God’s Word it is like looking into a mirror. What do we do about what we see? Hopefully we go away asking Him to change us into what He would have us be. To say and do what He would want us to say and do.

  77. I agree…why ruin a good thing whether it is FB, church, faith or most importantly others’ opinions. I am so glad God made me a person of choice.

  78. Loved this: “It’s like having my own pleasant little neighborhood coffee shop where everyone knows your name and where I can poke my head in when I have a minute and sip a cup of joe as I hear quick updates from folks I wouldn’t otherwise see. Call me Pollyanna, but it often feels like my own little virtual Mayberry.”

  79. Some good points there. I like the aspect of associating your Facebook wall to a coffee shop. A place where you can see what your friends are upto and what is happening in their lives. And I’m afraid that I’ve been that person who has upset the odd wheelbarrow here and there by popping into conversations and perhaps added my two cents where they weren’t needed.
    That is the second reference to Pollyanna that I’ve read about this week 🙂

  80. So beautifully stated. The last 12 years of my life has shaken me to the core in various ways and I am blessed to have survived some of the things I did (physically and emotionally). I’m stronger in my faith than ever and one of the most valuable things I’ve learned is the phrase “in the whole scheme of things, how important is that really?”. Of course I wish that it wouldn’t have taken so much to learn it but at least now I LIVE it.

    I (try to!) apply it to everything and what it comes down to is very little is THAT important. I’m alive, my son is healthy, I have a loving family and God loves me. In the end He wins and I have a room in Heaven…that’s the bottom line!

    1. I think we all suffer from poisoned perspective more than anything else. Good for you for being willing to take a step over and look at your life from another angle…

  81. I just barely got the word out about your last blog and here is another great one. I wanna meet you someday, you really make me think.

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