There are some things I regret

There are plenty of things in life I regret. I regret attitudes I’ve copped with my family in the past. I regret words I’ve spouted at my children in moments of anger. I regret ordering magazines that were being offered for $5/year because even at $5/year, I still don’t have time to read them and they waste away in a stack in my living room.

I wrote a piece last Thursday and posted it at WORLDMag.com. I don’t regret posting the piece, but I do regret posting it at WORLD.

If I could go back and change a couple of things I wrote, here’s what I would change:

1) I would have done better by my friend Wesley. I wrote him to get his thoughts on the issue and said I would probably quote him, but I did not not tell him I would most likely use the entire email he sent me. I used most of his email because I thought he had some really good things to say. Had he known I was going to do that he would have said some things differently. I wronged Wesley in that way and I am deeply saddened I did that. I regret doing it. I asked him to forgive me and he did. Wesley is a very grace-filled man.

2) I likely would not have used the term “celibate homosexual Christian” to describe him. I would change that term to a celibate Christian who struggles with same sex attraction. Most of the readers of that piece would have understood that a little better than the phrase I used and I get why.

3) I would make a one-word change in the middle of the piece from “should” to “can,” going from “I’m understanding a little better that what is commanded of Christians is simply not the same as what we should expect from those who do not follow the ways of God” to “…I’m understanding a little better that what is commanded of Christians is simply not the same as what we can expect from those who do not follow the ways of God.” It’s subtle, but it makes a difference.

4) I would have clarified more than once that my struggle wasn’t in what I believe to be true about homosexuality or what I teach my kids regarding it: I do not agree with the way the world and culture are going with the practice of same-sex marriage. I would have made sure my readers all knew my struggle was in understanding what to expect from an unbelieving world on issues of morality. I didn’t make that clear and I regret that.

I won’t lie and say that being taken to task by “big dogs” around the internet (I’m talking to you, Douglas Wilson) doesn’t sting. It does. But, in the words of someone wise tonight,

“I know this is discouraging. I would encourage you to ignore it and just keep blogging. Jesus loves you! The gospel is true. You’re a worst poster than you thought. You’re more ‘muddled’ than you ever dared to believe. You’ve become more liberal and tolerant and a product of your culture than you know. But Christ loves you more than you ever hoped. He loves bloggers like you, moms like you, thinkers like you, heart reactors like you.  He died for you and your kids and people that are ripping you and people who like you. I don’t mean that to sound silly or trite, but to encourage you that your confidence is not in what World Magazine thinks or those commentors think, but it’s really, really rooted in Jesus and what he thinks. And he thinks you are awesome!”

Those are some words I don’t regret hearing tonight.

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14 thoughts on “There are some things I regret

  1. Chelsea says:

    I got downright exhausted reading some of those comments, and I think they’re harsh and retaliatory words caused more damage than your original piece. A logical reading through those comments would think that Christians are nothing but pious, ill-informed, and argumentative jerks. (At least, that’s what I thought before I quit reading.)
    But, God works in spite of seemingly negative circumstances. WORLD actually did benefit from your piece, you know. They are getting some negative publicity, but their readership is up, their numbers are up, and they will benefit from all those internet clicks. More people will check out their posts (and especially your next post), which ultimately will help more people read about God and His truth. I know you feel beat up, but even our mistakes are useful to Him.

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  2. Susan Zellner says:

    love you megan. It is always easy to react to writing and very difficult to risk writing our thoughts on paper. You are a wise mom, a gifted writer, a thoughtful learner, and a humble sister in Christ. Hope His Word is comforting you this week- It is full of grace and truth!
    hugs from AL

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  3. Kristen says:

    (((Megan))) I’m frustrated and exasperated for you, I’m hurt with you by some of the comments and big dog slams. I’m grieved that this kind of inflammatory dialogue is not only tolerated but modeled by pastors and leaders. Jesus, with thy church abide.
    Communication can always be a little better, but I hope this incident reminds me to be a gracious listener, slow to condemn, quick to love and show charity. Being a little muddled and messy is a good place for us to meet the gospel. We need Jesus because we can’t figure it out on our own. You are loved and appreciated.

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  4. Jess says:

    I read the article too, and agree that the comment section was the damaging section and not your piece. Is there any way to publish your work at WORLD without a comment section?

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  5. Kate says:

    For the record, I understood what you were saying without the clarifications (and I don’t even know you that well). I think people are going to hear what they want to hear. “WORLD magazine is going liberal???? It’s just as I suspected all along…”
    I appreciate your insights, and I *really* admire your courage in posting your thoughts in such a public forum (I’ve read some of the comments on previous pieces and have had the thought that I wouldn’t be able to put my ideas out there in a place where those kinds of crazy people could comment on them). I’m sorry you found yourself at the center of a firestorm. Doug Wilson, indeed.

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  6. Christan says:

    God’s grace is beautiful. This experience can only help us all show more grace to others. Thanks for sharing it with us and not hiding it. You’re a brave woman.

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  7. Katy says:

    I understood what you were saying, too. It’s always easy for others to pick apart something someone else wrote to make it “perfect” even though, in essence, it means the same thing. And it’s often hard to know *exactly* how others will take your words until you say them.
    I think Christians are often falling into the trap of thinking that if we can force something on the outside, then it changes the inside, which clearly isn’t true, and is also not the example Jesus set for us. But it is often done to children and attempted with adults (historically and now). Perhaps if we spent more time on the daily will of God for our own lives, we wouldn’t be so caught up in trying to control the external behavior of others and instead would be able to draw them in with love.
    I always think of how Jesus looked on the people “like a sheep without a shepherd” and had love and compassion for them…so different than the attitude we tend to take towards those that are not living the way that they should. We have every reason to have compassion for those living a homosexual lifestyle or struggling with same-sex attraction. But instead of the church treating them with love and compassion, what often happens (not always!) is that they receive condemnation and, at times, even hatred.
    I do think that the comments on WorldMag (for all your posts) are frustrating. I don’t know what type of audience makes up the general readership, but it seems like many of the commenters are more interested in making sure that everyone agrees with exactly what they do than in truly thinking about issues and realizing that a thoughtful dialog with other Christians who may see things differently, is really important. I think its part of the Scandel of the Evangelical Mind and it’s not only frustrating, but often times it’s embarrassing.

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  8. Kara says:

    Megan-Sounds like Gospel Transformation for bloggers. We all need that. I heard your heart the first time…wish others would have, too. Thanks for once again modeling transparency and biblical conflict resolution to the rest of the blogging world. Love you, friend!

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  9. Kyle A says:

    I think that the editors owed it to you and to the readers to give a better explanation than they did. I hope that you get the chance to do a follow-up at World. I hope that you continue to contribute there, although I would not blame you if you chose not to. I think that they treated you badly.
    As for the comments, a few were unkind, but most simply disagreed with a few points that you made or, more precisely, with your wording. I do not regret reading it or taking part in that discussion that you stirred up.

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  10. Megan says:

    Thanks for popping in over here, Kyle. I really do appreciate it. I’m disappointed with the way it all went down, but I shouldn’t be all that surprised. I’ve been thinking about a lot of the points brought up in the comments, so I’m glad for that.

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  11. martha brady says:

    i missed the article. it has been crazy here w grandkids, etc. however, being in the center of a firestorm, however hot:(, is not a bad thing. it shows your article was thoughtful and provocative, not bland and wishy-washy. those are great things in my book. sorry i missed the article. glad i missed the comments from people who obviously have different motives than you!
    in the process, God worked sanctification in you, a stronger spine, built your courage and improved your writing and ability to express what you believe. oh yes, and some more humiltiy…painful but good.
    YOU GO GIRL:)

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  12. Allison says:

    Though I’ve been reading your blog for years, I somehow first found the article through the firestorm (DW, pshaw) and my first reaction was “sure, maybe that would have been better on her personal blog, and probably could have used some editorial oversight, but GUYS, really, LIGHTEN UP.” You would have thought World had published an ringing endorsement of NY’s recent ruling, not one mom’s struggle in how to present the world’s view (in opposition to your own, Biblical view) on the topic.
    My husband and I both read Wesley’s book this past winter and have passed it on to many friends. He presents an excellent viewpoint in the book and I would like to hear more from him, so I appreciate your asking him for advice, but I understand he may have needed some context and time to consider his words to a national audience.
    Anyway, I just wanted to say I’m sending hugs your way. Keep writing, keep blogging. One imperfect post is not the end of the world.

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