Sunday, 23 June 2013

I Hate the Living


In the movie ‘Men in Black,’ Dr. Weaver (the coroner) says, “I hate the living.” As funny as that line sounded in the movie, sometimes I hate people too. Suddenly it’s not so funny. Maybe “hate” is the wrong way of putting it; after all, “hate” is a pretty strong word.

Let’s try that again. Sometimes, as un-Christian as it most certainly sounds, I dislike associating with other Christians. I think I could easily unplug myself from all social networks, become a hermit or a recluse, and go off and live by myself in the mountains somewhere. Does that shock you?

I need to be careful; I think I may be starting to become a little cynical.

I am really starting to get tired of listening to Christians justify their judgmental spirit of dissension and factions (“acts of the sinful nature,” according to Galatians 5:20) upon the fact that Jesus was also known to get angry, as if to suggest that then it makes it OK for them to piously be angry too. Yes, Jesus was known for occasionally displaying anger. However, lest we’ve forgotten, Jesus is also the exact manifestation of God the Father and could (and did) do so sinlessly. When it comes to you and I, however, I believe that our ever-present carnal nature makes it less likely that we can really go and do likewise.

Why does this bother me so much? It does so because I see the same negative spirit in me. I’m no better. I too have flown off the handle and come unglued on other Christians who have thought differently than me. Through my sarcasm, I too have offended and hurt others. God forgive. Oh sure, we mask the whole thing up as promoting healthy discussion, but is it really? Sometimes I really think that I need to keep my musings to myself.

The very minute someone gets hurt by my theological tirade, I am no longer acting in love. Think about that for a moment. If someone gets hurt by what you or I say (or by how we say it), regardless of how much truth we may have spoken, then are we really acting in love? In my humble opinion, despite all our justifying of ourselves to the contrary, the answer is, “No.”
“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13: 1-3; NIV)
But what if they are clearly wrong? Has not Paul also said, “Watch your life and doctrine closely” (1 Timothy 4:16)? Yes he did, but that doesn’t mean that we have the right to act un-lovingly because of it. And yet it often seems that we do just that, beating each other up with all our doctrines, claiming to have the truth, and then calling it Christianity. Am I really endorsing error and thereby watering down the Gospel by not pointing the flaws and errors in others more often than I do? Some of my critics have accused me of doing just that on several occasions. Instead I would argue that, just as “God is love” (1 John 4:16), love trumps doctrine every time. Instead I would argue that, “whatever you believe about these [other doctrinal] things keep between yourself and God” (Romans 14:22).

Two more questions and then I’ll shut up:
  • What do you suppose goes through God’s mind when He sees some of the lousy unloving ways that we treat His other children, for whom Christ also died?
  • If God has already accepted them, dare we really dis-fellowship ourselves from them simply over differences in doctrine?

I wonder. At the very least, it’s something to think about. Peace and Blessings.

Photo Source: Unknown (via Facebook)

2 comments:

  1. We correct our children because we love them. We correct false doctrines for the same reasons and "SOMETIMES" just because we do so it is interpreted as unloving...not because it is. If we correct in the right spirit and in so doing help turn someone back to truth....even though "they do not like to hear it" allow the Holy spirit to do His work in both parties.

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  2. I know what you mean. The church I associated with was more of a country club than anything else. Nobody asked me to Fellowship with them outside of church. It was just mild Fellowship "at church" and with "small talk" - well sorry - that doesn't count. What's worse is the church itself wasn't feeding me Spiritually. After 2 years of attendance and little to no spiritual food from that church, I left. Before doing so, I prayed a lot over the matter. It wasn't an easy decision. When I got my answers, I left the church I attended - but at a cost. None of my friends from there contact me and my Girlfriend fired me from the relationship because apparently she was comfortably numb to that dry church. So if people attended some of the churches I attended and saw the country club styles I saw, I'm sure they too would be turned off and think that such associations were lifeless and man made.

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