Failure To Communicate
A couple days ago I expressed the need to move on to a more positive focus in Christianity. But it helps to have a little motivation. So to that end, take a look at the article and comments at this blog.
This is what we have come to; this is how the lost view Christianity today. Many cannot communicate with people speaking the same language in the same culture, yet they try and pass themselves off as Bible scholars! They pride themselves on dissecting the most obscure nuances of Greek grammar, but can’t even figure out the simplest point another person commenting on a given topic is even arguing.
And what will come of it all? The two sides remain as far apart as ever. But don’t think it’s because of rudeness or style; even the most micromanaged “mind your manners” sites fail to make an inch of progress. It isn’t the style of communication that’s the problem, but the inability of so many people to recognize a point and argue it logically. And if we can’t do that, we have no business teaching scripture, much less calling ourselves disciples of Jesus.
Of course, I see the male supremacist side there as being loaded with rudeness, insults, fallacies, conceit, and a Pharisaical need to have power over other members of the Body of Christ. I did point out the irony of one person’s accusation that egalitarian women have a problem with authority, while claming such authority must not be taken from men, but my comment seems to be in permanent moderation. (EDIT: finally resolved)
But such displays of childish playground fights are all too common. This is the face of today’s Christianity: division, power struggles, sweeping the sins of its leaders under the rug, warring against culture instead of preaching the risen Jesus to the lost or being “salt” and “light”, and everything else that goes with the Nicolaitan and Laodicean spirit of the age. This is what we need to ditch.
Now I’m not saying there is no room for studying the ancient languages or concerning ourselves with the historical context of a given passage; not by a longshot. What I am saying is that it is futile to keep going round after round with the power-hungry. The best we can do is plant some seeds and then let God water the soil, but we must continually guard against being drawn into these traps that keep us from “running the race”.
Follow Jesus-- the Jesus who said “not so among you” and freed the prisoners. The Jesus who never had a kind word for the Pharisees. The Jesus who treated everyone according to their attitude, not their flesh. The Jesus who tore the veil in the Temple in two.
Conversely, stay away from those who cause division-- those who say the Body MUST be divided between male and female, clergy and laity. Those who make the false dilemma between hierarchy and chaos. Those who cling to power. Those who look on the flesh instead of the spirit.
We must renounce and denounce any group that teaches such things, shaking the dust from our feet and telling the world that we do not recognize them as followers of the Jesus of the Bible. If we fail to make a clean and public break with such groups, we will share in their shame and error. To continue fellowship with such people is to pollute the Body of Christ.
Yes, these are blunt words. But the holiness and purity of Christ is more important to me than being seen as outwardly “peaceful” or “tolerant”. Jesus hates not only control freaks but also lukewarmth/compromise (Rev. 2:6,15, 3:16). If the “reformers” are to be hailed as bold and blunt for standing up to the Roman church, then we cannot label an even more important stance as somehow wrong or mean-spirited. Loving the world is hating Christ (1 John 2:15), and hierarchy is clearly the way of the world.
As final motivation, and more positive, I offer the following links to some old hymns that come to mind: