Monday, December 08, 2008

Hoist him on his own petard!

Gabrielle links to some comments made by a man about why he does not like most Christians. He's probably got some valid criticisms, and hence I would encourage those who think like our dear brother to go to an erring brother or sister in Christ and gently rebuke them per Matthew 18:15-16. If this does not work, of course, he ought to go to the pastor of these people and arrange Biblical discipline.

The irony here is that the one who is complaining about the behavior is (ahem) himself a pastor, most likely THE pastor to at least some of the people he was complaining about. Let us take a lesson here; there are times when the latest technology--blogging, printing press, text messaging, twitter, whatever--is nowhere nearly as effective as simply talking to the offender or sending him a gentle note.

(and yes, I did....thanks to all for keeping ME honest here!)


Anonymous said...

Look, I am either chronically or occasionally guilty of all those things he's complaining about.

But what's he complaining about, really? That Christians don't rise sanctified out of the ground? That some of us have things we need to learn, and others have things we know are wrong that we need to repent of?

None of those things are valid things to complain about. None of them are even remotely valid reasons "not to like" other Christians, because to say that you don't like people for those reasons, implies that you have some kind of right to expect them to be different. But you don't -- a redeemed but not yet reformed sinner is what a living Christian IS!

We don't have the option of getting fed up with the fact that other sinners are no better than we are. And, as you say, that's ESPECIALLY true if you're a pastor -- it's HIS problem, not only "their" problem. It's not his fault, but it's his problem to solve. That's his JOB!

I understand that is point is more to exhort than to complain, but the formulation of "I don't like them" for this list of reasons gets to me, because of the implication that if they were different, I would like them -- as though it's valid to entertain the possibility of Christians on this earth who will be free from annoying weaknesses.

In fact, now that I think on it, what really gets me is that he doesn't like most of the brethren for reasons X, Y, and Z, but God DOES like us anyway. (And yes, I'm aware of the like/love distinction, and I believe that most of the time, its a bunk excuse.) So now he's extending affection on a different and more stringent basis than God does? Don't think he really wants to go there.

Anonymous said...

And you know, he'd probably agree with me at least 98%. But I guess it bothers me when a pastor is able to write a big banner headline on a post that is so ill thought-through. But I won't say that I don't like him for that mistake. ;-) said...

Oh Pentamaom - I can totally relate to the feelings you are venting here! The problem I had was that he got me all turned inside out and I had to admit that I was having trouble with a sin that God has been dealing with me on - un-forgiveness. I had to forgive this guy for not acting like the love of Christ at all!

We do hold pastors to a higher standard, for a reason.

Christians are imperfect - that's just a given. But I think most of us know that about ourselves.