Friday, June 02, 2006

Wasn't "grace" supposed to be "gracious?"

One of the saddest things to see is how many Christian "leaders" spend a lot of time tearing each other down. Not just disagreeing, mind you, but tearing people down with invective. No, I'm not (usually) referring to the "Anglo-Saxon" kind of invective we learned on the school bus, but rather describing different viewpoints as "pathetic." That, or the bitterest forms of sarcasm are used upon a real or imagined theological opponent.

I have no problem with one person rejecting or refuting another's view point, but too often a line is crossed. Some examples:

Read some KJV-only advocates about those who use modern translations--or some modern translation advocates about those who use the KJV. Or hymn singers, psalm singers, or modern chorus singers. Or witness mockery between covenant and dispensational theologians, or between camps of the same theological tradition. It's positively brutal out there sometimes.

Now all of these issues are important, and deserve to be debated. Every once in a while, we even need to debate an issue regarding salvation.

But that said, it seems we all too often forget that the end result of grace ought to be, well, graciousness. Have so many of us truly forgotten the lesson learned by the man who owed ten thousand talents? Sometimes it seems that we have.

Those who have forgotten this are, by the way, the "other kinists" I referred to in an earlier post. It's not based on race or ethnicity, but it's every bit as intractable a problem.

And so I wonder if we Protestants are truly split that deeply on theological lines, or whether we're simply holding a grudge from when we were slighted by someone else. I think that more often than we like to admit, we're holding a grudge.

So let's be gracious. Let's show the same kindness to others that Christ showed to us.

4 comments:

David McCrory said...

Bert,

First, I like this post. I think your right. Theological prowess has lead to arrogance which has in turn lead, often times, to very harsh, rather than chariatable language.

I am finding the whole theological as well as the eccesiastical landscape to be a bit depressing. I weary of all the "in" fighting while our enemies claims more precious ground everyday.

Would you be willing to elaborate on this statement,

"Those who have forgotten this are, by the way, the "other kinists" I referred to in an earlier post. It's not based on race or ethnicity, but it's every bit as intractable a problem"

I'm not sure what your reffering to here. BTW, that is one of my biggest concerns within the Kinist camp, it isn't what they say so much that bothers me, as it is how they say it.

Bike Bubba said...

David--well said on the arrogance of many who have massive "book learning" but fail the application of good theology.

And "other kinists"? Quite simple; far too many of us refuse fellowship based on issues not related to salvation. Instead of debating the issues and sharpening our minds, we part company and become flaccid members of a holy huddle. We lose the interaction that enables us to love one another, and as such....we become graceless to those who don't think like we do.

Does that help?

David McCrory said...

Yes that does thanks. The Church has always struggled with maintaining both it's unity and it's purity. Doctrine divides as well as unites, and I'm afraid as long as fallable man has any say about it, those two things won't be reconciled this side of heaven.

Bike Bubba said...

I'd agree that doctrine rightly does divide us--but would also point out that if we adhered to some basic standards of rhetoric (e.g. being gracious in disagreement), we'd likely see far fewer such splits.

That is, we still might have Baptists and Presybterians, but we might not have 100 (1000?) varieties of each.