Loving God Through Confrontation


Quotes from 'Sacred Pathways' by Gary Thomas

“Activists serve a God of justice, ...their favorite Scripture is often the account of Jesus cleansing the temple. They define worship as standing against evil and calling sinners to repentance. Activists may adopt either social or evangelistic causes, but they find their home in the rough-and-tumble world of confrontation. They are energized more by interaction with others, even in conflict, than by being alone or in small groups.” (26)

“Activists...are spiritually nourished through the battle.” (121)

“The true activist lives for God and for His love alone.” (124)


1. Consider God’s faithfulness in the light of so much undone in the world. Consider His great patience. He is working even when we see no evidence of it. Don’t give up.

2. Ponder John 4:34

3. Seek to develop tact, gentleness, persuasiveness, true love for others.

4. Invest energy in: producing and transmitting literature; social reform; “marches”; prayer walks; food pantries; crisis pregnancy center. Be creative.

5. Thoroughly research any activity before joining it. Ask God for wisdom first. Seek counsel, confirmation and accountability.

6. Be careful that intervention doesn’t become accusation. Understand the difference between, “That’s wrong!” and “I don’t like that.”

7. Remember that everything you say must be truth. But you don’t have to say it just because it is true.

8. Consider carefully the outcomes you desire from your efforts.

9. Develop your ability for self-examination and contemplation of God.


Psa. 7; 68; 10; Pr. 24:11-12; Ezek. 33:1-20;


1. What issues make God angry?

2. Think of the last social or Christian cause you were involved in. Did it draw you closer to God? In what ways? Was there anything about it that pulled you or others away from God?

3. How do your activities fit into your worship of God?

4. How do you feel when you are working for a cause and other Christians don’t seem interested in it, or, even when they are interested, don’t do anything to help? Are you able to resolve these feelings? How do you do this? What other things might you do?

5. Is your current church involvement one in which you can use your activism? What would you like to see different? What would you like to try?

6. How does your desire to motivate and change affect your relationships with other people? Are there changes you would like to see in your interpersonal interactions, you’re your approachability? What might these look like?