September 12, 2007

I thought we were supposed to be grownups!

So I log into this forum where I'd been doing some posting over the past year only to find grown up people carrying out a full blown argument on whether or not to celebrate Christmas! Jeesh you people can't you find something more important to do? Now I'll readily admit that my first inclination is to start right in there with my $1.50, and in the past I've done so plenty often. I'm preaching to myself as much as anyone here. But now.....I'll seems pretty petty. In the past I've actually been surprised and a little dismayed to find that my arch-enemy in one thread is actually my ally in another thread. I don't think this is such a good thing or very conducive to fellowship. Maybe I'm the only person who feels this way, but I sort of doubt it. In such situations the atmosphere can become one of restrained witch hunting with everyone trying to throw everyone else into the water to see if they float. As Christians I believe I can safely say that this should not be! Such places ostensibly exist for the edification and encouragement of others (which they can often be in a great measure), but all too often they become factionalized heresy hunts. We say with lofty condescension "Even though your understanding of Jot-tittle 19 is clearly inferior and possibly heretical I shall extend the right hand of fellowship so that I may instruct/be instructed on the better making of soup." Am I really the only one who thinks this is rather ridiculous? I sort of want to say "Look God is big enough for us all to share Him -stop hogging the divine inspiration!" However, the truth is that some people are right about somethings and some other people are wrong about those same things. I have my own opinions which I naturally prefer to some other opinions. That's the nature of opinions. So what do we do? I suppose in some ways we tone it down. Don't shout out a breastfeeding manifesto on the formula aisle of Walmart. Do (if you're an older,experienced woman) go up to an expectant mom, tell you've breastfed successfully for x years, are a big supporter of it, and would love help/encourage/explain/answer questions at any time. Then back off. Don't wed your encouragement to her enthusiasm for your particular method.* Unfortunately that's exactly what we don't want to do. Me included. Having a faint grasp of iridology there are times when I see an infants eyes and want to go shake the mother for not taking better care of her baby. Seriously. Then I remember that doing so is not likely to do any good and that instead waiting for an opportunity to speak "a word in due season" just might. Even then I have to remember that plenty of people with umm interesting features in their iris do live long happy lives. "Oh, but things could be so much better if only they would just listen to me and do things my way!" Maybe so, but you're not likely to convince them of it before they want to be convinced. Forcing the issue is only conducive to disharmony. I mean take natural health. My mother-in-law has said quite plainly that carbonated water (even in fizzy all natural, no sugar added juice drinks) is paralyzing to the digestive track and that since Allen and I both have challenges in that area we really don't need them. But guess what -every once in a while we drink one anyway. Is my mother in law in a position to be upset that we aren't doing things "right?" Darn right. Does she? Nope. She's wise, and she's not going to break fellowship (or play the martyred mother) because of it. She cares about us more than she cares about how well we follow her excellent advice. On that note let me just say that I wish more people (myself included) could be like here, and that'll put an end on my rambling post. Gosh it's good to write about something other than soup.

* please go read Nancy Wilson's superlative post on the same topic.


Sallie said...

agree, agree, agree...

God bless,

Anonymous said...

I'm not a writer--as obviously you are. :) Thanks for putting my thoughts into words! Wish you'd do it over there! It's kind of like beating a dead horse--didn't we just have that SAME discussion last Christmas season???!!!


Martha said...

How does Proverbs 27:17 come into this?

I enjoy reading discussions on how people are bringing glory to God in their lives. I may not always agree with them (I watch TV and celebrate Christmas - GASP!), but I do enjoy being challenged to re-think why I do the things I do.

After all, "Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever." Shouldn't we all be striving to do this in every aspect of lives?

Just another point of view to consider.

Natalie said...

Martha, I agree with you in great part. However I disagree sometimes with the way it's done. I love talking to my husband about the reasons why we watch movies or do certain things at Christmas and other holidays. I agree that we should strive to glorify God in every area of our lives. Discussion is good. But sometimes I think that the occasion for the discussion isn't good. I think you can agree with me that such discussions can easily create an "us vs them" mentality especially when the bonds of fellowship are no stronger than a common affinity for a certain internet site.