08 November 2008

A Teachable Heart.

Do you have one? Or do you call the people who want to correct you "judgmental and self-righteous?" From A Pondering Heart blog:

"It seems no longer can Christians correct one another in edification. You can no longer tell your brother or sister in Christ anything without them either getting upset with you or being viewed as judgmental. You are supposed to 'love and accept' everyone for who they are. Yes, we are to love one another as Christ loved us, but no, we are not to accept everyone as they are in their sin. That is of a new-age religion mindset. We are not suppose to accept sin. We are suppose to turn from it. Paul makes that clear we are not to keep company with those who don’t keep the Word, and we are to not count him as an enemy but admonish him."

That being said, I don't take correction very well. I think it's because I've lived through many, many instances where the person doing the "correcting" is really trying to be manipulating. I've seen instances where whole church bodies magically feel "convicted" on this or that issue because the pastor pretty well browbeats 'em into it. Do I need to get rid of my television because, say, the pastor WXYZ's family has a hard time controlling its television viewing... so he feels convicted... so he tells his parishoners to get rid of the "hellivision"... so I would hem myself in in an area that is not a struggle for me at present... so it becomes a doctrinal issue when it really isn't? All of pastor WXYZ's parishoners, bless them, ought to leave the TV off when he and his family come to call, but correcting and exhortation should be saved for the "biggies."

Ah! The biggies must be homosexuality and abortion, right? Well, I don't see a lot of that. Maybe people keep that closeted up pretty well 'round these parts, and I think a lot of people who do these sorts of things as an ongoing lifestyle aren't even Christians who need correcting so I'm not even worried about that. What is the point of exhorting someone to righteousness if the person in question doesn't know Jesus? There would be NO moral framework upon which to base your assertions. I'm NOT (not not not) saying someone who is not a Christian is an immoral person any more than the rest of us; just that the framework for understanding God and sin and why sin is bad is NOT there in a non-Christian.

But I *do* see a lot of gossip in Christian circles, oh my goodness. I *have* seen, more than just disappointment in the election, a lot of hateful things said about the lazy, socialist, godless, terrorist-supporting, secretly Muslim AND closeted gay rights Democrats and this and that who voted him in. (Did I leave any epithets out? Hm. No, I think that about covers it.)

And I've seen real derision for Obama in places. Ok, I dislike him. A lot. But it would be nice if that fine line between political satire, a good joke and outright mockery weren't crossed so definitively so often. Do you remember what it was like to see "kill Bush" on sidebars and hateful things said about "all those fundies" and Republicans in liberal blogs and news stories over the last eight years? Well, I don't want to be that puerile and resort to bashing and stereotypes like they were. Thanks.

But back to correction. When do you think it is warranted, and who should be doing it? I don't think I'm above correction, but "anonymous" or some dude who has never commented before writing after a post that I'm stupid or don't follow the Bible or have a totally wrong idea isn't going to be taken to heart. Maybe an online friend or acquaintance telling me something is amiss would be. I think my temperment is such that in that case, my feelings would be hurt and I would have to think about what was said first objectively. For days. I think David was very unique in that he recognized and was convicted of his sin instantly and repented right away.

3 comments:

  1. Gossip definitely needs a coffin. It's pulled down more churches that I know of than any single other thing. Apparently, according to Dearest, I do not taken correction well. I get defensive. *sigh* Working on it but I have things to do & places to be & no time for that sort of introspection.

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  2. I take correction well or not depending on who the correctee is TBH.

    I have found alot of people to be judgmental. Speak the truth in love. I also know that I can be defensive, having been 'bullied' by some who want me to do it 'their' way (which isn't always God's way)

    It also depends on the relationship I have with someone and the level of trust there is between us.

    I do not respond at all well to lines starting with 'How can you call yourself a Christian when you .....' Reality is we all fail/sin everyday. I think the importance is that we are TRYING to live the life that God wants us to live. And when people barge in to point out failings without knowing the history, I get antsy.

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  3. Teachable heart?

    No, I don't have one... because I'm perfect already [laughing].

    I haven't, honestly, experienced much of the hypocrisy because I haven't had too many people actually confront people.

    In fact, for me, the hardest thing is knowing how to confront people about their issues. And that is why, I think, so many people refrain from "spurring on another on to go works." We're totally clueless how to do that!

    What would someone need to say to set me straight in a few of my more problematic areas? I don't know, because even though I know I'm in the wrong, I still do it. So, what can I say to the person who is clearly totally wrong in how they act in this area, but is already aware of it?

    Or, worse, the person who is unaware and will not hear you properly if you try to encourage them to shape up?

    That's where I'm currently stuck in this whole mess.

    ~Luke

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Non-troll comments always welcome! :)