To post or not to post…

Hello, friends…I’ve been wrestling with something for quite some time now. I’ve talked about it with my parents, friends, and even a few pastors along the way. The question I sometimes struggle with is this: At what point does it become necessary, even essential, for me to use my platform to speak out against the ails and evils of this world? Do I have a responsibility to weigh in publicly on social and political issues of the day or should I leave that to pastors and professionals? Do I keep my focus on Jesus, the gospel, and encouraging others in the faith? Or is there more?

While working on a related song idea yesterday, Micah 6:8 came to mind. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God. So, what does that look like for a Christian singer/songwriter? Except for a blog post during the presidential election, which I kept rather general, I have steered safely clear of all political postings and other controversial subjects. This, because I simply don’t have time to carry on a debate online. Nonetheless, my Mom frequently sends and forwards emails to keep me abreast. Sometimes they are fun and silly, but mostly they are informative and inspirational. She sent this one today and I decided to take a baby step and share it.

Thought you might enjoy this interesting prayer given by Minister Joe Wright in Kansas at the opening session of their Senate. Everyone was expecting the usual generalities, but below is what they heard… (It seems prayer still upsets some people. A number of legislators walked out during the prayer in protest. In 6 short weeks, Central Christian Church, where Rev. Wright is pastor, logged more than 5,000 phone calls with only 47 of those calls responding negatively. The church is now receiving international requests for copies of this prayer from India, Africa and Korea). With the Lord’s help, may this prayer sweep over our nation and wholeheartedly become our desire so that we again can be called ‘one nation under God.’
HEAVENLY FATHER, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness
and to seek your direction and guidance.
We know Your Word says, ‘Woe to those who call evil good,’
but that is exactly what we have done.
We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values.
We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery.
We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.
We have killed our unborn and called it choice.
We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable.
We have neglected to discipline our children
and called it building self-esteem.
We have abused power and called it politics.
We have coveted our neighbor’s possessions and called it ambition.
We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography
and called it freedom of expression. 
We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers
and called it enlightenment.
Search us, Oh, God, and know our hearts today;
cleanse us from every sin and set us free.
Amen!

35 comments to To post or not to post…

  • DC

    The problem Cheri, is that the issues go a lot deeper then the soundbites we catch from the news. Even worse, news is slanted in one direction or the other. Truth is often in the middle, not on the edges. So… Unless you do your homework, stick with the Gospel

    Love you.

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    Cheri Reply:

    I hear you, DC. One can never go wrong with the Good News! Thanks for sharing.

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  • Powerful prayer, Cheri. Thanks for sharing. Sounds like you and I wrestle with some of the same big questions about how to use our platform for Jesus. Here’s what I tell myself: Whatever God shows me–that is the answer for me, and I need to be faithful with that. We all have a different function in the Body. Times and seasons change for what we’re called to do. Ultimately, God loves when we’re a voice for the voiceless and a help to the helpless–to those who are too weak to pay us back. I want my art and life to reflect that as much as it can, and I want to encourage others to do the same, because that’s where the joy comes from. From the place where we seek to please the heart of God and love His people in various ways. As I look at your life, Cheri, you do a GREAT job of loving God and others. You have a beautiful heart, and I love how you seek to please God with everything He’s given you. XO

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    Cheri Reply:

    Your comments are always such an encouragement to me, Cheryl. I, too, love your heart for Christ and how He uses your gift of words to bring beauty and light into a dark world. Keep writing! the world needs what Christ brings through you, my friend.

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  • Good pondering questions, Cheri. In addition to preaching the Gospel to the nations, we are to help the afflicted, widows, and orphans. If God burdens us with compassion for a certain nation, then go with that and be a voice for those that cannot speak because of oppression. God has given me a burden for the Messianic Jews in Israel who are being persecuted by their Orthodox brothers. This was not my concern until God gave me this burden and I embrace it with His agape love. Shalom, dear sister in Christ,
    DeVora Clark
    #PrayIsrael

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    Cheri Reply:

    And a beautiful burden it is, DeVora. May the Lord continue to fill you and strengthen you. For His glory, Cheri

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  • Donna Anderson

    As Christians we are called not to judge. You know that old saying, “point a finger at someone and three come back at you”. Saying that, there are rules to getting on in this world and if as Christians we don’t share what we have learned what good are we? Tell the story, live your life the best you can and let the chips fall where they may. Remembering that we all fall short of the Glory of God. Besides you can always blame your mom. Love, mom

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    Cheri Reply:

    Love you, Ma.

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  • Tomtom Capuson

    Amen!I think You made the right Choice and will in the Future.
    We are so Upside down now as a Nation :(

    You seem to know when GOD wants you to act, even if it something simple like asking for Help spining the Piano around 20 yrs ago so You could see us in the Pews and feel closer during a Concert in Memphis TN FEB 1994 at GTBC on a BITTER COLD Night. That is Still one of the most Moving Spiritual Concerts to me.
    Blessings Cheri O:) tomtom

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    Cheri Reply:

    Cool memory, Tomtom. I can’t say that I remember that night specifically, but I’m glad you did! God be praised.

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  • Judy Coles

    Beautiful, powerful prayer. Don’t you think it would be a marvelous song?

    [Reply]

    Cheri Reply:

    Good thought, Judy!

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  • arleen

    Cheri,I can really understand the emotional and spiritual dilemma you feel…I think you do no wrong in posting the piece you did..You believe in its truth(as do I) and it was important to you..Anyone who knows you would understand and respect your feelings(because we know they run deep)..I personally believe that your gift from God is in your music..I think your lyrics are genuinely inspired,your touch on the piano is a special one given to few and your voice belongs to your words..I think your life and your music is where God wants you to share His love,comfort and hope..Of course,this just my humble-bumbled opinion ;>)..These are some very troubled times we are in,more than I have seen in my 73 years so I too worry about what,when,where and how much of my opinion to voice and wether it will have any impact..Just pray for guidance(I know you do) and then go with whatever comes as that is really all you can do after all…I think I speak for many when I say “we love you anyway…”

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    Cheri Reply:

    Thanks for the encouragement, Arleen. I appreciate you!

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  • Hi Cheri,
    As you know, I’m a fan and have the highest respect for you! I’m going to express what bothered me about this particular prayer. I agree with just about all of it, but the part about welfare seemed unloving and judgmental (and I’m not accusing you of being that way). I grew up poor, for the most part, and I know that not everyone on welfare is on it because of laziness. My parents were separated when I was young, and my dad was a Vietnam veteran struggling with what was later diagnosed as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He was extremely intelligent, and even had his own home based bookkeeping business, but a lot of the time it was hard to make ends meet. I think that this is one of the problems that the world has with conservatives and the “religious right.” Instead of showing the love of Christ, there is condemnation for others. Cheri, I am in no way accusing you of this, but I just wanted to point out what affected me about this particular prayer. And I do know that there are those that abuse the system, and try to milk the government for all they can get. On the other hand, I do believe we should stand up for those that cannot stand up for themselves. I believe that as artists we have a vehicle for telling the truth about abortion. But everything in Christ’s love. Thank you for your music Cheri!

    In Christ,
    Tom

    [Reply]

    Cheri Reply:

    Thank you for your thoughtful comments, Tom. You bring up an important perspective born of first hand experience. And, yes! Let us always speak the truth in love! I think of the old song…”And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love. Yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.” Continued blessings on your music and ministry.

    So we can tell…
    Cheri

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  • Tom Berry

    Cheri,

    You have been put in a position of great importance by God. He is giving you the opportunity to share not only his words but yours as well. If you would ever want to give an opinion or voice your views on something, I think as long as you start out by saying something like “These are my opinions and my views. You have a choice to agree with them or disagree with them. That is why is is so great that we live in this great country.”

    Because your opinions and thoughts are probably 100% faith/bible based, if certain people get “offended” by what you believe or think, then that is their problem, not yours.

    In other words, SPEAK IT OUT FROM THE HIGHEST MOUNTAINS!!!

    Tom

    [Reply]

    Cheri Reply:

    I HEAR YOU LOUD AND CLEAR, TOM! Thanks for your ongoing encouragement. Hope to see you guys again soon.

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  • JULIE ZWARYCZ

    Cheri,
    It’s so great that you are getting the opinions of many people. I loved what Tom Berry said (“These are my opinions and my views. You have a choice to agree with them or disagree with them. That is why is so great that we live in this great country.”)

    If we don’t take a stand on what we believe then how will anyone be challenged to think differently than the world thinks. The Lord desire us to share the truth so we can do our part to change the world.

    This is just my opinion. Depending on the “issue” you choose to speak out about, I still agree with my statement on FB (I would pray about it from a broad viewpoint and do that which is in tune (no play on words intended) with the mission the Lord has for your entire life.)

    Trust the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

    [Reply]

    Cheri Reply:

    Thanks, Julie! Yes, keepin’ in step with the Spirit. Always a good idea! I saw you guys are doing Sacred Secrets. I got to watch all the sessions during a two day women’s retreat where I led worship. Wonderful to know God wants to meet us in the secret place. Be blessed, my friend.

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  • I think that sharing your heart, your interests, your opinions and your beliefs doesn’t make you controversial – it makes you real. I get so sad when I see artists that are told by various people in their camps that they can’t say this or that because “it might offend someone” (and impact sales). If said artists were leading folks to worship at the throne of the dollar, I could understand but Jesus is so much more important than a bank balance and those treasures in Heaven we are to store can not be bought with a single dollar.

    What is politically correct today will be offensive tomorrow but Jesus is forever!

    This prayer is as good (and relevant) today as it was when it was delivered in 1996. It seems like in an “all about ME” society, there is little room for God.

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    Cheri Reply:

    Thank you for sharing, Kim. I appreciate what you said. My favorite line: Jesus is forever!

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  • Wade

    Platform is God’s platform.We are His instruments to carry out His will. We are not suppose to do everything or do everything at the same time.
    Ministry should be carried out spontaneously (not for the purpose to gain eternal life).Very often we do God’s will without our awareness.
    References:
    Song of Solomon 4:16. 2Kings5:2-3 Matthew 25:14-23
    I don’t think we should be worrying about ministry. If we grow well spiritually, the influence will be shown naturally.
    2Peter 3:18. Matthew 7:18

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  • Kaiti Kelly

    Hi Cheri,
    I’ve been pondering your latest post. Times have certainly changed and from what I’ve seen the past couple of years. And in the age of “political correctness” where even some of the secular celebrity people have made comments just in passing I would be more inclined to let the situation allow me to select the battlefields of righteous declarations where you would have more of the home field advantage. Case in point last summer we all painfully watched how one of the major food networks filet and grill our beloved chef of southern cuisine Paula Dean, for a comment that was several years old and by someone who saw an opportunity to make a fast$buck at her expense while shaming her for a statement taken way out of context. And then a few months later our infamously hilarious brother in the faith was stalked,hunted, and nearly butchered (speaking of The Duck Commander-Phil Robertson), all because of a video of him preaching on the sins of sexual perversions. Such was again taken out of context and the network r k cut off his show “The Duck Dynasty”.
    There have been numerous times in my life where I got a little bit miffed at someone’s personal opinions of my convictions about people who are perceived as being “gay or lesbian”, black, native American, autistic, or whatever. Yeah it hurts, BUT Jesus said to forgive 70 X 7, Paul said to never hold a record of wrongs, King David could have slit Saul’s throat in that dark cave and on other occasions said “I” will not touch God’s anointed. Too speak out on the social ills of our day requires prayerful discernment. Remember the times in which we now live hold two classes of people.There are those who have fallen away to deception and deceptive lusts. You might say this is the “new” class of agnosticism or out and proud atheist. Such people are so miserable spiritually with God that they have turned on their backs on Him thinking that they are actually more powerful, more wise, more knowledgeable, etc…. Such people remind me of my own nine year long period of bitter backsliding that it nearly killed me. It also is very typical of those that St. JOHN spoke of in his gospel where after Jesus had finished teaching some walked away never to return and Jesus asked the rest of the twelve are you leaving too? Peter response no Lord for where shall we then go? You’re the one with the words of eternal life (all paraphrased). The Second group are those in which have never truly encountered God or they’ve had a light brush of some form of religious Christianity, or another religion altogether, and then some who truly sense that there is a creator or higher life something??? Yet they’re empty and desperately searching to fill that void that we as born again believers of Jesus Christ, have always had. This latter group is not likely to be the type who would step out of the shadows of their misery to make you into public display of religious or political debate. It’s the one who like Judas Iscariot was angry, bitter, and vengeful towards God, and anyone or anything that represents the God of his or her lusts, and are on the cliff with God, and could very likely be like those that Paul talks about in the first two chapters of Romans, most especially chapter one. Take a hard look at how debased our nation has become since Obama took office. The fruit of his administration speaks for itself. Our nation is more of a moral wreck than it was when Bill and Hillary were on the Hill. T he sin of our nation has begun to find us out, and that’s why we first must pray that our God will go before us and b err ing us to the battlefields of certain victory. After we pray and He has led u s out to the fields of His labor than is www when we sound the trumpet calls that bring about the godly repentance the Father is looking for. Jesus w e nth out to the people yes, but not before He spent quality alone time with His Father. It should be no different for us, don’t you think?
    Cheri I’m sure you may be getting a little tired of me telling you this story about how much that one song “There Will Be One Day” had touched my hurting lonely heart last summer in the hospital ICU. BUT YOUR PLATFORM IS AT MOST ANNOINTED WHEN YOU SING, AND THAT GOES FOR YOUR UNCLE PHIL, TOO!! So sing sister sing!!! Maybe you’ve heard the song by Chris Tomlinson, Whom Shall I Fear? If you haven’t pull it up on YouTube, by goin thru Google and entering the song and the artist’s Chris Tomlinson. The refrain or chorus goes like…”My God goes before me, my God stands behind, The God of Angel Armies is always at my side… make it your mantra sister. I need to sign off and get some sleep I’m battling what doctors believe to be another bone marrow infection. I’m back on HP a-B meds, and they make me really groggy. Again I love your music. Oh by the way I got the two CD’s back on Monday. I love that song Because He First Loved Us. And that classic of classics Youve Got A Friend. I look forward to heaven and meeting you. In the meantime perhaps we can just share emails? Thank you
    In His Love,
    Kaiti Kelly

    [Reply]

  • Micah 6:8 is my favorite verse. But, tis not a declarative Cheri. It’s an interrogative, thus asking YOU if you are indeed seeking Justice, loving mercy and walking humbly before our God.

    All the prophets of old (including our Messiah and Lord Jesus Christ) gave words of Hope, Faith, Love AND warnings of chaos. Why? So that we might discern the times we are living and to KNOW WHAT to pray for, WHAT to avoid and What to look for – primarily the soon coming of our Great King and Great God.

    Just saying…

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  • J Woodward

    To post or not to post, to speak or not to speak, to write or not to write, to love, to give, the list could go on forever. As we face decisions in life we have many choices to make, and as many have already pointed out the key is to follow God’s Holy Spirit in all we say & do. Jesus said that His word wold offend some and win some. We are not responsible for the outcome because it is the Holy Spirit that is more than able to do the work if we are faithful. His word does not return void nor does it end. To make this point Cheri a few months ago I was watching an interview you did in 2006 on TCT. As you shared about your life and how God has brought you through it really blessed me. Near the end of the show you shared several thoughts that seemed to resonate in me. I began to write a song titled “Are You Really A Christian”. I will share only the bridge because your thoughts seemed to just gather on the page and turned into a perfect fit bridge. “You do not have to strive, Jesus is your guide, a patient and loving teacher, Be faithful in your present moment , and be a Holy Spirit seeker”. Thank you Cheri for allowing God to work thru you to bless others; Prayer always

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  • Wade

    Music ministry makes high impact on people’s emotional and spiritual condition.
    1 Samuel 16:23
    1 Chronicles 13:8
    Nehemiah 10:39
    Nehemiah 12:45-47
    Nehemiah 13:10-11
    Psalm 49:4

    [Reply]

    Cheri Reply:

    Thank you for these scriptures, Wade. I feel honored to be one of those “singers” in service of the Church. Great encouragement.

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  • Larry

    Cheri,

    I think it is important to remember that in every issue, there are real people with real problems that don’t lend themselves to easy answers. It is especially easy to sit outside the struggle, and lob “truth” bombs into the fray from the outside. Many times, these perspectives do more harm than good, and tend to make enemies of the Christian faith. I have had many conversations with people that are angry at Christianity because of the easy answers they heard, or the accusations they personalized from strong statements of “truth”. Therefore, I would suggest you hold your opinions privately, and give them privately when people ask you personally. It is much better, in my view, to actually sit and talk to someone, when they can hear your voice, and look in your eyes, and sense your concern and love for them, rather than an impersonal quote on a flickering screen of a computer, or a quick sound-bite.

    I grieve the way public Christian “leaders” on the left and right voraciously feed on the reputation of people on the other side of whatever issue is currently trending on the internet. I cut back on my time online at times because I get. so. PISSED. at how Christ is portrayed due to the influence of such vehement, impersonal, written arguments in snarky, disrespectful tones. What audience are they trying to impress? Which choir are they preaching to, and why would anyone outside the faith seek to join such a choir?

    Please don’t join the chorus singing so distinctly out of tune!

    [Reply]

    Cheri Reply:

    Wow. Yes, Larry. I won’t be joining that choir any time soon. I hear your words of caution and your frustration when we don’t represent our Lord very well. Funny, we were just talking about that very thing at Bible study a couple nights ago, our Christian witness online, on Facebook. If we must speak, best to “speak the truth in love”…Lord, let us be the fragrance of You in word and in deed…and on the internet.

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  • Ronn

    The Bible says the TRUTH shall set us free.
    I believe we are to speak truth without being ashamed of WHOM & WHAT we Believe in even if it leads to persecution in one form or another.
    The time is to short for anything otherwise.

    We use discernment and Wisdom but the TRUTH cannot be watered down.

    Love this prayer with such perspective.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Ronn Davila

    [Reply]

    Cheri Reply:

    Thanks, Ronn…I think you hit the nail on the head…all this requires wisdom and discernment.

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  • Kaiti Kelly

    Hi Cheri,
    Say did I speak out of turn concerning the reply to your earlier blog posts “To Post Or Not To Post”? I happened to ‘re read my reply when I got an e-notification of sorts from some other bloggers. I got to wondering (?) If I hadn’t of stepped on someone’s toes? I know my typing got a bit skewed at times towards the end, which probably made some words and/or phrases a bit hard to decipher.
    I’ve been fighting another nasty bone infection and the antibiotics make me pretty groggy or sleepy and I was in a race with myself in trying to finish my line of thought. Some words were a little garbled.
    I hope I didn’t offend you or any of your bloggers? I certainly wasn’t trying to offend anybody. I guess I was just trying to give a gentle note of caution about speaking out so boldly, in a time when the political correctness police are hunting for those they see as easy prey, and as Jesus warned us we are all like sheep being led to the slaughter.He also warned us not cast our pearls before the swine lest they turn on us and rip us apart. My examples of Paula Dean and Phil Robertson were only meant to be an example of how ruthless these agnostics have become in recent years. I by no means ever intended for any believer of the gospel not to proclaim the message of God’s love and the need for personal salvation, in Jesus Christ. Again I’m sorry if I stepped on anyone’s toes.
    In His Love.

    [Reply]

    Cheri Reply:

    No, I think you’re fine, Kaiti. Everyone’s comments have been respectful and thoughtful. It’s all good! Please be well! Lord, please bring the healing that her body needs. Amen.

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  • Kaiti Kelly

    Thank you for putting my mind to rest. It’s been a very hard month I’ve been pretty sick again. The high doses of the meds have some nasty side effects.too, which makes me dizzy and nauseated. Gotta go

    Blessings.
    In His Love,

    Kaiti Kelly

    [Reply]

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