Opinions on faith and life

Failure To Communicate

2010-08-12

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:

12 Comments

Kathleen

So very true! I really believe that God creates and encourages our need for "faith" in His wisdom and ways, including the understanding of His Bible, but He doesn’t leave us without resources to encourage that growth. He does give us "reasons" to believe and logic was some of the peoples’ ways of dealing with situations in the Bible as well. Paul dealt with the Greek minds, developer’s of logic and reason philosophies. He was one of learning.

But people aren’t just blinded by ignorance of facts. The sinfulness of our state without humbling ourselves before our great God creates power-hunger, envy, strife and the fruit of the flesh, not the Spirit. It doesn’t want to come to the table to "reason together". Fear keeps people from stepping out and learning humbly, too.

Paula Fether

Yes, the God of the Bible says "Come, let us reason together". But people respond with a line out of Pirates of the Caribbean: "Reason’s got nothing to do with it."

Don

For some reason, I cannot get beyond post 693 on Burk’s blog, so I can no longer comment. Keep up the good fight.

Paula Fether

It’s malfunctioning. In more ways than one. :-D

Lydia

The indoctrination is incredible and complete. That is why reason is so important or you end up turning the NC into a Talmudic religion of rules and roles.

Over at Burkes, we have young men who have been indoctrinated just as Nazi youth were. They have no ability to think outside their bubble.

An example they always use is that non masculinists are culturally liberal and feminists. They do not have the innate ability to ask why this feminism was not a problem for 1900 years but all of a sudden a problem in the 20th century. It certainly was not because women were trying to ’usurp the authority of men’ those 1900 years.

When thought through logically, one can see the illogic of their claims and the sinfulness of their insistence upon male supremacy instead of teaching what our scriptures teach: service to others and that God is no respector of persons.

Paula Fether

They even try to turn "no lording over" into "nicely lording over". You can’t fix that kind of doublethink.

Lydia

Oh yes. Benevolent dictator. The adjectives...never forget the adjectives.."joyful" submitting to a tryrant who claims to be a believer?

Piper teaches that a woman should submit to abuse for a ’season’. But he never tells us if the abuser is a professing believer. Does that make a difference? Or do his male organs give him a pass in that respect, also?

Paula Fether

Just a quick note, we’re having very aggravating internet connection problems so if I don’t approve a comment in the queue or don’t respond, you’ll know why. Hope they fix it this time!

Greg Anderson

Failure to communicate huh? Careful that ol’ capn’ don’t wale on you with that cane of his jes’ like he did on Cool Hand Luke. (cept’ you be Cool Hand Paula!) Ha Ha Ha, all in good fun!

Paula Fether

Yes, I had "Cool Hand Luke" in mind when I thought about the post title. :-)

And what a time to have internet connection issues! The irony...

EricW

Call me reprobate or dense, but I read Douglas Moo’s defense of the creation order/headship position that Denny Burk links to in his blog essay that you point us to in your first paragraph, and found it full of (pre)suppositions and debatable statements. If this is the basis of the complementarians’ argument(s), they have a weak case.

Keep fighting the good fight!

Paula Fether

Tanx EricW! I shall (Word)press on. :-D