Wednesday, April 16, 2008

SHALL WE THINK?

It’s amazing to note over the years the various ways the church has developed an ability to not get along. From Worship Wars to Doctrinal Disputes to Ego Encounters we divvy up the brotherhood into regions, pockets, and labels. Could this be a signal that somewhere along the way we lost ability to think for ourselves and trust the judgment of others at the same time? Could a part of the solution be to let each come to individual conclusions while keeping our respect in tact?

In my case I feel pretty sure my talk is stronger than my walk and my bark is way ahead of my bite. I’m an evaluater deluxe….just as I’m doing on this blog. My experience is the church-in-general is enjoying life in the Spirit because we are accepting the range of various conclusions without being afraid of thoughts which don’t match. It’s as if we have actually agreed to be agreeable when we disagree.

What would it be like if we were to take our stance on being patient and kind and compassionate? What if we were to measure our fruit alongside that which is Bible described of the Holy Spirit in Galatians 5? Could it be we may often be found out as truly noisy gongs and clanging cymbals in our cussion and discussion of endless and circular debate?

Brian McLaren wrote an interesting piece which speaks to the moment. Jesus was short on sermons, long on conversations; short on answers, long on questions, short on abstractions and propositions, long on stories and parables; short on telling you what to think, long on challenging you to think for yourself; short on condemning the irreligious, long on confronting the religious.

It is easy to identify Jesus as exactly as McLaren portrays. It must humble us to realize we are among the religious Jesus might want to challenge. May we grow in our ability to think without forcing others to be as smart as we assume we are.

3 comments:

Lee Keele said...

In my reading this morning, Terry, I found a proverb that says, "All a man's ways seem innocent to him, but the Lord weights his motives."

It is a reminder to me that so much of our strife comes because he decide to take God's job upon ourselves to judge the motives of men's hearts.

Surely we can judge right and wrong behavior, but only God can see what drives us. I think if we left that business to God, we would find that we're in in the same need of grace, not just regarding our behavior, but the motives behind it.

Tucker said...

I love the way you make me think. I heard it said once that the biggest problem with man is, "Men don't think". We follow what others crammed in our head. The more I challenge the things implanted in my head, the more I think differently. May Jesus continue to teach me and challenge all of us with how Mr. McLaren describes it.

I struggle with taking myself out of the "religious" category, but find myself slipping in and out of it. I don't want to be the judge, just a spokesman for the Way!

chris said...

isn't it strange how we of the c of c often have more tolerance for other denominations and their assortment of beliefs and practices than we do for those of our own brotherhood whose beliefs and practices may have broadened in response to new challenges to our faith? i think we would all find it much more shocking to turn to the back page of the paper and find a full page of textural objection to the southern baptist convention or the mormon general authorities paid for by a random c of c than we do to find a similar attack upon on we call our own. i appreciate the opportunity to think on such things and will continue to pray for wisdom and discernment.