I have to confess to you, fellow Christians, that when it comes to defining my faith and refining my thought processes I really miss the interaction I had with unbelievers. As a Christian I have had to struggle with being bogged down and often uninspired as the debates between Christians wend on. It dulls me, for some reason.
Perhaps my thinking is more sharpened during conversation with unbelievers because I am more aware of the stakes. I tend to check in with God more on those things, perhaps. Perhaps I simply see the matters more clearly.
But while I find many Christian essays and discussions edifying and some of them hit me with revelation of rhema proportions, too often I feel I have walked smack dab into the doughy leavening that drags us all down.
We don’t even realize when we do this, which is why I think it was warned so much against. This constant bickering that can either be in the Sadducee or Pharisee mode. Either fiercely self-righteous or obdurately worldly. So very easy to slip into either mode.
I know there are lots of Christians who know what I mean…. I have met you. And it creates a tiredness in the troops.
I have to wonder why that tiredness so little finds itself in the self-promotion crowd? They seem to be unendingly eager to have go at it. Again.
There was a time in the midst of a list debate when one of my fellow Christians surprised me to no end in absolutely gutting the faith. Sure he won points for being a liberal tolerant sort, but I had this to say about behavior in debate: If you give atheists enough rope in the discussion they will hang themselves with it…. but Christians? Christians stand before you and gut themselves.
Requiem for the truth in that moment. It isn’t til much later that they discover they no longer have anything left. They died and didn’t know it.
And that is disheartening.
But that isn’t what Christians do to each other, they strangle each other with their intractable demands and icy etiquettes.
but not all of them. God showed that to me very clearly. It is as if we must come to the place of Elijah and cry out ” And I only am left” to hear God’s gentle response about the 7,000 who have not bent the knee.
There are so many stalwart and encouraging believers. So many! But I think we discuss the wrong things with each other sometimes. Too little inspiration and too much exasperation.
I thrive on the dissension of the discussion, it is how I test the merit of the idea, the strength of the truth -whether the word is getting rightly divided or not. I don’t want a false peace or a saccarine coated superficiality. What I think is so hard is the tight walls of defensiveness that Christians erect around themselves. It infuriates me, to be truthful. And more than a number of my fellow believers would call me down on that. I know that. But when nothing produces change, sometimes some fury seems in order.
Although I know we have to be very careful of that line of thinking.
Anyway, that is my confession du jour. Sometimes I avoid you, my fellow Christians…. and it is almost odd that I am now again in mainly Christian venues, both online and off. I recognize the imperative of the body holding together and of community of fellowship. We can’t be Elijah in the wilderness in the New Testament Church.
But sometimes you feel like throwing over a few tables, you know?
Now that I have this off my chest I can post some of the things I had worked on in response to some of my past discussions in the world’s arena..