Thursday, February 19, 2015
Becoming a Hate Group
Becoming a Hate Group. (This is spiritual, and may cause hives in the susceptible.)
Once again, Alabama is the center of attention, this time because of the homosexual marriage thing. Social media is full of people being loving and accepting of others' opinions on the thing ... as long as they hold the same opinion. Most of the "pro" side are lambasting "Christians" who don't think for themselves. Your problem is not that people are not thinking for themselves. It is because they just aren't agreeing with you. One person was going on about how he could NOT understand why people were so concerned with HIS relationship with HIS partner.
It's not about YOU.
This is, rightly or wrongly, about LAW. Not you, or your feewings. It's how our legal system works, especially in areas where controversy exists. It takes awhile. Life is not CSI, where problems are solved in under-an-hour.
Allow me to say that, as a rule, secular thinking and Christian thinking are not congruent. Secular thought tends to rely upon compromise and consensus, often through social sanctions being brought against opinion outliers. "Think for yourself" ultimately boils down to "Think like the herd". Whatever is cool, tony, IN, or Real George becomes common wisdom. All done in the name of independent thinking.
Christian thinking is not mere groupthink, and it is patently not meant to mean "think for yourself" (Where that means "pull a socially acceptable opinion from your backside".). Our opinions are to be based upon the revelation of God's word. It is belief and opinion based upon an external source, the word of God, the Bible. While there can be astonishing differences of opinion displayed as to what that book actually means, there is often a clear consensus on what is Good or Bad. The problems arise when admixture with secular opinion occurs, and the salt loses its distinctive flavor, as well as its power to change lives and cultures. The desire by Christians to be accepted by the world also plays a part. The current issue, and the rancor it engenders, is in large part due to believers playing politics rather than hewing to what the scriptures ACTUALLY teach, especially as concerns our proclamation to the world.
The World sees Christians as mouth-breathing throwbacks who want to saddle women with unwanted babies, who want homosexuals to be perpetually unhappy, with a heaping dollop of hell-fire when it's all over. They see us that way because we have NOT played by the rules. We have majored in things that the Bible does not. We have marched, and picketed, and tried to vote the Kingdom of God in, and here is what we have. Jesus did not picket against Jewish quislings collecting taxes for Rome. Paul did not promise Tropical Destinations to the idol-worshippers in Athens, Greece, neither did he organise Straight Pride parades in Corinth, complete with grey-scale rainbows. What did evil, hate-filled Paul do?
"For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified."
The proclamation of the Good News occupied Paul's dealings with people. All the stuff that people get bent out of shape about in Paul's writings are things he wrote TO CHRISTIANS, PEOPLE ALREADY IN THE CHURCH! They had signed up for the club, and needed to have the by-laws explained. The church has no business proclaiming or marching over anything beyond the proclaiming of the gospel. A clever fellow wrote:
A local church (Athens, AL) in 2007 made the national news by initiating a Temperance Drive in an attempt to get the sale of alcohol repealed. Try as I might, I cannot see a single instance in the New Testament where Jesus, Paul, Peter, James or John initiated a march, drive, petition, or mass pout to stop people from doing something that offended. Take slavery, f'rinstance. Paul did not start a campaign to stop the Offending Practice. Brights and other annoying persons find this terrible, for clearly it meant that Paul Did Not Care, that God Did Not Care, and thus ANY modern atheist is morally superior to either if he opposes slavery (Perhaps they should stage Abolitionist Marches in Sudan.). The fact is, Paul recognised that the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation (rescue, deliverance from bondage), and was thus sufficient to quell the deed, which indeed it began to do, as believing slave owners learned the difficulty of calling Property whom he also called Brother. Long and short: you teach the Word. Do something silly like, oh...do it like Jesus said. Make disciples of the nations. That means show them, teach them HOW to live the Kingdom life. This takes years, like it took years for Jesus to teach His disciples. Saying a prayer and sitting in a pew doesn't cut it. Baptise them by the authority of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. You are promised to receive the Holy Spirit, God Himself residing in your person. This is for starters.
Back to the point. If everyone does JUST what the Word says, it will result in unity. If, however, I insist on MY neat name, MY cool new way to do the gospel, thinking MY way is THE way, then I make myself distinct from my brothers and sisters. I become the enemy of unity. I become factious, jealous of other "ministries", become angry when you don't agree with MY way.
The world will not hear us unless we are unified. They will not believe our message unless we love. They will not believe in forgiveness in Christ if the church puts on its judge's robe. Wait...it HAS no such robe, 'cos it's NOT OUR JOB.
Yes. I yelled.
Oh, wait. That was me!
Paul and the other apostles were in the discipleship business, where members of the church are concerned. We are NOT called to point the bony finger of indignation at the Sinners du Jour. God so LOVED the world...the stinky, disagreeable, rebellious world...and gave Jesus. That is to be OUR proclamation.
We should ONLY go as far in our proclaiming as Jesus and later, his apostles did. They did not preach issues. They preached Jesus, and Him, crucified.
Mr. Hardys' blog, Aardvarks Plumbline here.
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