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Naive & Misguided Thinking

20 Aug

Another post that has caught our attention deals with a very generalized and misguided view of the church and the condemnation of all churches because a few do not do what that author expects. You can read the full post at the following link, but we will only address a few of her points.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thoughtfulpastor/2016/08/20/when-i-was-a-young-naive-christian-i-thought/

I thought that Christian people fought for integrity and truth. And then I discovered US politics and that money given to “Christian” organizations buys silence and complicity with evil and immorality.

In her haste to find fault with the Church, she accuses the innocent along with the guilty. This alone renders her whole argument moot and useless. The lack of fairness in her assessment of the actions of others is also her undoing. Then she forgets that she is not to be looking at what others do and judging them but making sure she is not doing the exact same thing in different ways.

I thought that God truly loved all the world. And then I discovered that “all the world” actually only means “the people who look like I do.”

God does and she should not place human weakness upon God and say that his attitude is the same as those who only want a ‘certain type of people’ in their individual congregations. Why punish or judge God because his people disobey His instructions? One should certainly not base their faith on such misguided concepts.

I thought that the Holy Spirit would give unity. And then I discovered hated within and without denominations, especially even in my beloved adopted denomination, The United Methodist Church.

That author seems to ignore Jesus’ words when he said, ” I came not to bring peace but a sword…’ And Jesus goes on to describe how families will be in opposition with each other because some believe him and his words and others do not. Unity can only come if people believe the same things and do not apply their own subjective definitions to other people’s actions. “Hate’ may not be hate but that term will be used when people like that author disagree with a biblical action or the actions of others. The action described as ‘hate’ only appears as such as observers do not see or accept the real reasons h=behind the action they find so distasteful or if they disagree with a biblical instruction.

I thought that forgiveness lay at the center of the Good News. And then I discovered that people can and do call themselves “Good Christians” and yet carry mean and destructive grudges for life, poisoning themselves, their families and everyone else around them.

Forgiveness is part of it but people also need to ask for forgiveness but then she may not be speaking about that. She may be speaking about the result of the free choice believers have and she may not like the fact that some people do not do as she expects. She should learn not to toss away her faith-based upon the actions of others, but strive to make sure she doe snot make the same mistakes.

I thought that God’s people were to learn from each other with the goal of becoming Christ-like, i.e., being willing to die for the unworthy. And then I discovered that the goal of the church was to get as many people in the seats as possible so they will give as much money as possible in order to keep denominational structures happy and their higher-ups well-fed and well-housed.

That is the goal but she seems to ignore the fact that Christians are tempted, fall to temptation, are not all spiritually mature and other mitigating factors which influence their decisions. She seems to be very judgmental and not very understanding of other people.

I thought that the eventual goal was that all humanity would eventually bow the knee to Jesus. But then I learned that we would all instead bow our collective knees to the Almighty Trump.

Then she ruins her post by turning it into a hate-filled political agenda

When I was young and naive, I genuinely thought that principle would win and that problems could be solved by good people working with honest humility when they reach across the table to find ways to address them.

Principle can win if enough people do not get disillusioned and give up. What good doe sit do to stop preaching the truth and turn to whining and complaining only?

I recently re-read these words by John F. Kennedy in Profiles on Courage:

If by a “Liberal” they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions

The problem with these words is that new ideas are not always good or free from error. We cannot accept new ideas blindly simply because they are new. We must vet them using God’s instructions and commands to filter out the sinful and destructive ideas. Once we do that then we can see which ideas are the ones God wants us to adopt.

Her post again smells of the tired old idea ‘you are not doing it my way so I will condemn everyone’ mentality.  She let her eyes be taken off Christ and placed upon people. She was influenced by their bad behavior instead of holding fast to the words of life and continuing to practice what Jesus taught throughout scripture. Instead of setting the example she let other examples ruin her faith.

She may have been naive and misguide din some of those points but that is to be expected with some believers. They want the ideal and cannot handle the reality of the Christian life. The reality is that believers are not perfect and they need help just like everyone else. A little understanding helps avoid falling into the judgmental and condemnation spirit.

A little understanding will also help her see the source of the problems and it may not be the believer but their weaknesses and lack of spiritual growth or that evil still has a hold on some people of faith.Once she sees the true source, she would know how to address the issue correctly instead of whining about the mess and making very hate-filled statements.

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Posted by on August 20, 2016 in academics, Bible, church, comparative religions, controversial issues, faith, leadership, politics, theology

 

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