March 23, 2017

March 29, 2011


When “Niceness” is Not a Virtue

“Why do you have to be so mean?”

That’s a question more than a few people have asked in response to the avalanche of criticism that has descended upon Rob Bell over the last month. The negative reaction to Bell’s promotional video and to his book, “Love Wins,” has been swift, firm, and unrelenting.

It has also, I believe, been fully warranted.

Under the guise of “asking questions” Rob Bell mischaracterizes and ridicules the doctrine of salvation in his promotional video—hawking his book by maligning the gospel. And the book itself is full of the same kind of truth twisting rhetoric. Not only does he embrace a form of universalism—as he indicated he would in the video—but he also continues his mocking distortions of the historic doctrines of heaven, hell, and the atonement. The persuasive power of his prose, moreover, rests upon his reader’s ignorance of scripture, history, and tradition. The book is an exercise in erecting strawmen and knocking them down.

Rob Bell’s heresy is now, thankfully, well documented and undeniable. 

But the tone and vigor of the criticism leveled at Bell continues to rankle some. They see Christian leaders confronting and criticizing other purportedly Christian leaders and they are put off. “Why are you so critical?” some will ask.  “I thought Christians were supposed to love each other? Why can’t you just forgive like Jesus says to do?”

Questions like these in the face Bell’s heresy reveal a depressing lack of discernment on the part of those who ask them which, perhaps, explains Bell’s popularity to begin with.

Over the course of the dispute within the Anglican Communion it has become startlingly clear that too many orthodox Anglicans in both pew and pulpit have little regard for the danger scripture ascribes to heresy and even less regard for the biblical proscriptions for dealing with those who promote it.

* Purportedly orthodox websites invite ordained men who promote sexual acts between people of the same sex to serve as regular contributors.

* Orthodox bishops willingly fly to Canterbury to plead with the Archbishop to invite Gene Robinson to the Lambeth Council.

* Orthodox laypeople “disagree” with the present teaching of the Episcopal Church but really don’t see why there can’t be a “loving generous conversation” with revisionist leaders who (they believe) seek the same Jesus and serve the same gospel but are merely “mistaken” about some of the minor details.

A false teacher, for many Anglicans, is akin to the guy who gets his math figures wrong. He’s incorrect but not dangerous.

The same assumption seems to be at work in the hearts and minds of evangelicals and others offended by the harsh response to Bell’s universalism.

How to respond?

It doesn’t take a biblical scholar to recognize that false teachers are not treated gently in holy writ. To make the point one might take a longish tour of scripture—beginning with Korah’s rebellion in Exodus and ending with the prophet of the beast in Revelation—examining the way the prophets, the apostles, and Jesus himself speak about, speak to, and deal with false teachers. Such a study would make manifest the reality—uncomfortable to the contemporary Church bathed as it is in “niceness”—that unrepentant false teachers are to be given no quarter.

I don’t have time for such a tour today but here are some representative New Testament texts that illustrate the manner and tone of Jesus’ and his apostles’ interaction with false teachers.

Jesus called them:
“Wolves in sheep’s clothing” (Matt 7:15)
“Blind guides” (Matt 15:14)
“Children of hell” (Matt 23:15)
“Sons of the Devil” (John 8:44)
“Whitewashed tombs” (Matt 23:27)
He counseled false teachers to tie a millstone around their necks and jump into the sea.  (Mark 9:42)

Paul said:
False teachers are accursed (Galatians 1:8-9)
Their teachings spread like gangrene (2 Timothy 2:17)
They must be silenced (1 Timothy 1:3)
They should castrate themselves (Galatians 5:12)

Peter referred to false teachers as:
Irrational animals (2 Peter 2:12)
Creatures of instinct born to be caught and destroyed (2 Peter 2:12)
Blots and blemishes reveling in lies (2 Peter 2:13)
Accursed children (2 Peter 2:14)
Waterless springs, mists driven by the wind (2 Peter 2:17)
And dogs who return to their own vomit (2 Peter 2:22)

John called false teachers:
Liars (1 John 2:22)
Antichrists (1 John 2:22)
Deceivers ( 1 John 2:26)
He commanded churches to refuse hospitality to them (2 John 7-11)

These are harsh words. And this harshness seems to conflict with the gracious, generous, inviting New Testament call for mercy and compassion toward sinners.

But the apparent tension is merely “apparent”. It fades away in the light of God’s love for the lost. Whereas the gospel of Jesus Christ is the light of salvation—false teaching counterfeits the light. It deceives the lost. It deepens their darkness and blindness—and when flows from the lips of those who bear the office of “teacher” it is doubly insidious and dangerous.

Imagine a mother arriving in the afternoon to pick up her children from school only to find another adult posing as a family friend leading them toward his car.

What is love’s response? 

Is it patience? Compassion? Mercy?

Isn’t love in such a circumstance rightly expressed in rage? Shouldn’t a parent in such a situation do all in his or her power to unmask the imposter, remove the threat, and rescue her children?

How much more zealously then ought those tasked with the care and cure of immortal souls respond to “wolves in sheep’s clothing”?

I wonder if any of the disciples balked after Jesus’ diatribe in the Temple in Matthew 23? That’s where Jesus called the Pharisees “whitewashed tombs” and “blind guides” a “brood of vipers” and “children of hell”. But his outrage was not born of narrow-minded fundamentalism. Nor did it arise from fear of change or difference. His was the outrage of a lioness defending her cubs.

And his outrage should be ours.

When confronted with false teaching or discovering a false teacher, a Christian leader who is not moved to indignation and anger does not, at that moment, share the mind of Christ. And one who does not respond with rapidity and zeal when there is a wolf in the fold does not, at that moment, walk in the way of Christ who is the great Shepherd of the sheep.

And further, Christians who do not understand this truth and find it distasteful are themselves lacking in discernment and in need of correction. When they object they not only hinder the defense of the faith but they encourage and enable the spread of deception and darkness. 


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35 comments

I continue to realize - with considerable horror when applied to myself - how the church has ordained too many “50% shepherds.”

We have selected in large part for folks who are “pastoral,” which in and of itself is right and good as far as the care of the people .  The NT counsels leaders to correct the people in their care with gentleness, patience and humility.

But the other role of the shepherd is to yell, shout and throw rocks at the wolves.  This has been discouraged to the point of being “bred out” of mainline clergy.  I include myself in a sad generation that allowed the wolves to get their way.

[1] Posted by Timothy Fountain on 3-29-2011 at 08:44 AM · [top]

I prefer this type of examination and discussion when we hold a leader up for examination and discussion.  While it shows more how to handle such, it still lacks where the discernment is learned - and how to teach that discernment.  Something we all obviously need more education and training so we can help others.

The problem I see is knowing when to handling people this way versus trying to restore a brother in love. We focus on the loving Jesus yet there was the Jesus who cleansed the temple. When do you shift gears from one to the other?

[2] Posted by The Lakeland Two on 3-29-2011 at 09:52 AM · [top]

The throwing of rocks at the wolves has been so effectively deflected that is does get discouraging. Getting lowered into the pit and the mire by the powers that be gets discouraging. Warning after warning going unheeded gets discouraging. Yet these are things we must do.

How many times must we get discouraged before shaking the dust from our feet? Seventy times seven?

[3] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 3-29-2011 at 09:56 AM · [top]

Hi L2. This article is not intended to “teach” discernment but merely to point out the lack of it on the part of those who object to the response to Rob Bell and others.

So please do not take this thread off topic.

The question “Where do you learn discernment?” is easily enough answered. Scripture. Study it. Learn, mark, inwardly digest. You become so familiar with the truth that a counterfeit is obvious…but please lets keep comments on topic.

[4] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 3-29-2011 at 09:57 AM · [top]

Matt, go back and read your header highlight. You miss my point and it isn’t off topic.

Jesus didn’t just get angry - He did something.

You have pointed out multiple places there’s a discernment problem in the Christian community.  How does it get fixed?  My questions point to figuring out a solution.  Is that not the point of bringing these things for examination?

Yes, we all here know to study the Bible ourselves. But obviously, somewhere - in a lot of places that’s not being done. How can we fix that?

[5] Posted by The Lakeland Two on 3-29-2011 at 10:42 AM · [top]

I guess in short - If the sheperd is going to yell stay away, don’t the sheep have to know why besides it’s a bad thing?

[6] Posted by The Lakeland Two on 3-29-2011 at 10:44 AM · [top]

RE: “You have pointed out multiple places there’s a discernment problem in the Christian community.  How does it get fixed?”

I understand that that is a real issue—and perhaps it bears discussing in another thread.  But Matt’s post is not about how to teach discernment to the sheep.  It’s about how pastors should respond.

If I find the time over the next few weeks I’ll try to put up an open thread on your question, L2, and see what others say about how to fix the discernment issue.

I have rather doomsday thoughts about that . . . but maybe others will be more hopeful.

[7] Posted by Sarah on 3-29-2011 at 11:03 AM · [top]

Just ‘cause Nicene is a creed that one says they believe, that doesn’t mean that the same person isn’t a false teacher and heretic that needs confronted. For a long time we were so full of niceness to so many that we ended up hearing, “So long. . .”

I was guilty of being too nice for too long, so now I’m gone.

Bob Maxwell†
. . . still ridin’ for the brand.

[8] Posted by Bob Maxwell+ on 3-29-2011 at 11:23 AM · [top]

Sarah and Matt,

Thank you. Please know I appreciate all that you both and the others do.  I appreciate the problems being pointed out.  I look forward to that thread.

While I am a sheep, because I have studied and discerned, etc., I have found others asking me questions because of my knowledge - scary!  So, I have unwittingly become a leader - just not a priest.  Last week, I heard a priest in our diocese ask a question that they should have known the answer to, and it wasn’t asked rhetorically.  No one answered that priest - not even the peers.

I’ve personally watched the Episcopal church disinegrate while priests, bishopas and laity pointed out the lack of discernment while nothing was being done because we laity depended on the priests and bishops to do the actual work correcting their peers.  We know how that has come out.  Perhaps it’s because of that I’m being so forceful, so I apologize. 

Again, I look forward to a thread where we all can learn.

[9] Posted by The Lakeland Two on 3-29-2011 at 12:08 PM · [top]

Seems to me that Matt answered the question on “how . . . discernment?” with read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest—————
desert padre

[10] Posted by desertpadre on 3-29-2011 at 12:15 PM · [top]

And howdy, Bob Maxwell, haven’t seen or heard from you in a long time. Can’t get you on email, send one to me. You know my address.
desert padre

[11] Posted by desertpadre on 3-29-2011 at 12:16 PM · [top]

#10 - desertpadre - So are you saying you would approach another priest who needs correction by telling him/her they need to read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest? 

Or would you try to share with them the applicable scriptures where you feel they are wrong? 

Or keep silent because they should know better and tell everyone to keep away.

How should pastors respond when they see error?

[12] Posted by The Lakeland Two on 3-29-2011 at 02:14 PM · [top]

At the root of this accusation of ‘meanness’ is the idea that true religion is characterized by sincerity.  We are reminded that doctrine divides while sincerity unites.  To declare someone ‘wrong’ is to refuse to credit his sincerity, and thus to deny the authentic nature of his religion.  It’s a consequence of the idea that man can never really know divine truth; that the best he can do is follow his own light as he is able.  What credit should be extended to an arrogant man who claims to know what cannot be known, and demands everyone else give assent?  Rather he should be humble and remember he is but a blind man groping the elephant.

It’s true that doctrine divides.  It’s why the Christian is separated from the Mormon, and the orthodox from the heretic.  Christianity is fundamentally not just a religion of relationship and sincerity.  It has essential doctrinal content that defines its boundaries.  But as soon as you say that, you incur the responsibility to tell someone else “You are self-deceived, and currently have no part of the Christian faith.”  You have to push him outside the boundary.  And that’s ‘mean.’ 

carl

[13] Posted by carl on 3-29-2011 at 03:01 PM · [top]

Christianity is NOT a religion of tolerance: Love, forgiveness, mercy, and so on but not tolerance. The political and social correctness of tolerance so embraced by secular society has been syncretized into popular Christianity. Many believe Christianity to be a tolerant religion and so accept secular criticism of Christians as being unChristian when they are intolerant. Then misguided clerical peer pressure conspires with secular political correctness to suppress needed admonition. What pastors might teach other pastors is the need for loving intolerance and that such loving intolerance is indeed very Christian. Just my thoughts.

[14] Posted by Don+ on 3-29-2011 at 06:34 PM · [top]

Of course, L2, one needs to approach anyone who is preaching fallacy, and tell them where they are wrong about their teaching. But much of the fallacy can be avoided, I think, if our teachers—whoever they may be—teach their students to first read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest what they should be studying before they try to teach someone else.
desert padre

[15] Posted by desertpadre on 3-29-2011 at 06:47 PM · [top]

Just an observation, if I may.  C. S. Lewis devotes an entire chapter in “Mere Christianity” entitled “Nice People or New Men”

[16] Posted by Ladson Mills on 3-30-2011 at 07:18 AM · [top]

Chuck Swindoll is doing a good series on false teachers on his radio show now on his Insight for Living program. I especially like his lists of the qualities of false teachers and churches and his comments on how familiar terms are being redefined through subtlety and subterfuge.

[17] Posted by Adam 12 on 4-1-2011 at 06:38 AM · [top]

Christianity is NOT a religion of tolerance: Love, forgiveness, mercy, and so on but not tolerance. The political and social correctness of tolerance so embraced by secular society has been syncretized into popular Christianity.

Don’s post looks correct.  Had to look up syncretism.  Bad thing is syncretism.  But this says what I believe is happening.  If you speak out against any practice or belief you are accused of intolerance and “I thought you were a Christian,” and other such nonsense which is just meant to shut you down. 

When I complained to my former Epis priest that the folks at the top of TEC didn’t look anything like the folks in the pews next to me he said “Maybe that’s a good thing.”  Hmmm.  When I left he told me he “...thought I was bigger than that.” 

Guess not.  If the flock complains things are going sideways and they want out, insult them, disparage them.  That will show them.

[18] Posted by episcopal100 on 4-1-2011 at 09:33 AM · [top]

I am reminded of the Peanuts cartoon where Linus is standing happily in his pumpkin patch and saying “Nothing but sincerity as far as the eye can see…”

[19] Posted by Fenella J Strange on 4-1-2011 at 11:40 AM · [top]

“Niceness” as a value?  Not on the list of Aristotle’s virtues/excellences or on any virtues list I know of.

“Niceness” as a qualification for ordained ministry?  Not even in the form of diplomacy.

And yet, some consider it ‘pastoral’ to leave things alone.  “Let it be…”  That is the sum total of “generous pastoral response” we saw at 2009 General Convention.  Their battles that cannot won with truth can be won through attrition. And TEC has been attriting its members for decades.

Some will call “reconciliation” to be the making of a working peace between conflicting parties.  That is just Hegel’s dialectic process in vestments.  But I am reminded by an unnamed bishop that, “you cannot reconcile to a lie.”  And doesn’t “niceness” call upon us to do just that—in the name of Peace or “accepting/loving just as you are” or similar drivvel?  What are we to do: be “nice” to people who have no need for redemption for their sins as if “you’re OK.”

The weakest part of my seminary education was the counsel to not confront false teaching, false teachers, and gullible sinners.

[20] Posted by BravoZulu on 4-1-2011 at 07:44 PM · [top]

I’m bookmarking this post.

[21] Posted by gkissel on 4-1-2011 at 09:16 PM · [top]

Tomorrow night BBC2 is showing Louis Theroux’s second visit to the appalling and not-at-all-nice Phelps family at Westboro Baptist. All over the UK, viewers will be thinking “Yes, that is what Christians are really like”.  Above all, the Phelpses illustrate the widely help belief that Christians are just being nasty by not tolerating other people’s views. I’m a teacher, and I see every day how successful the secular agenda has been in prioritising tolerance over everything else.  I try to point out that the only thing tolerance does not tolerate is a different view on tolerance, but as my students have never been taught logic it’s a losing battle.

[22] Posted by Fenella J Strange on 4-2-2011 at 06:25 AM · [top]

Up through the 1928 BCP, priests were to vow “to banish and drive away from the Church all erroneous and strange doctrines contrary to God’s Word, and to use both both public and private monitions and exhortations, as well as to the sick as as to the whole, as need shall require, and occasion shall be given.” (p 542, 28 BCP)

The 1979 BCP omits that vow, and I can imagine that the next prayer book will encourage new clergy to invent strange new doctrines as much as they can.  Seminaries certainly seem to encourage such a view.

When I took church history at Gordon-Conwell we looked at the heresy trials that took place in the mainline denominations in the early 1900’s.  “Higher Criticism” had taken root within many churches, along with the denial of many core doctrines, but had not take over entirely.  The orthodox took on some of the heterodox by using the denominational apparatus for heresy - the proper thing to do, but the heretics were often charming, engaging people, and the orthodox often came across as narrow-minded and mean.  We see the same thing in Bp Spong (who is personally charming and very media-savvy) and Rob Bell.  That is one of the unfortunate aspects of calling the wandering to repent and return, especially when our culture equates “niceness” with goodness.  I am not sure how we can appear loving when we call the errant to account, but that does not mean we should not attempt to be both firm and gracious.

[23] Posted by AnglicanXn on 4-2-2011 at 11:27 AM · [top]

#23 In Canada, priests have been ordained using the 1962 Book of Common Prayer up into the 1980’s and have taken the same vow to banish strange doctrine.

Lakeland Two, I agree that discernment is a task in which all, lay and clergy need discipling.  It seems to me there are different texts on discernment: those that refer to an individual correcting a ‘brother’ or peer (eg Matt18) , a leader correcting an opponent (eg 2 Tim 2) and those that refer to communities rejecting false teachers (eg 2 Tim 3).  The scripture references I have cited seem the most ‘step-by-step’.  Although ‘niceness’ is not a virtue, mercy is very present in the discernment and confrontation that leads to the naming of a false teacher. 

In Matthew the progression from a non-threatening individual meeting to a hearing before the wider church demonstrates respect and genuine hope for private repentance.  In 2 Timothy 2 we are encouraged to patiently endure evil, instruct with gentleness and to reason with those who have ‘already been taken captive by the devil.  By 2 Timothy 3 we are instructed to avoid those who have the appearance of godliness but deny its power and themselves try to gain power over the weak.

In practice, our Canadian national church (ACoC)has experienced the full range of discernment and discipline from the Global South Primates who withdrew from eucharistic communion in Dublin.

The ACoC now practices tolerance as an official doctrine: although we have not endorsed blessing same-sex unions or ordaining those in same-sex relationships, both those practices have been undertaken by multiple dioceses and our House of Bishops has stood silent. 

The Global South Primates have rightly discerned that tolerance of ‘strange doctrine’ is unrepentant neglect of the vows of ordination. They moved through private talks through public witness to treating the unrepentant as a ‘Gentile’ and not sharing the passover meal with them, by withdrawing from instruments of communion that have violated trust they are ‘avoiding such people’.

I think their model is worth studying.

[24] Posted by Canadian Hobbit on 4-2-2011 at 03:26 PM · [top]

[25] Posted by St. Nikao on 4-3-2011 at 11:22 AM · [top]

I agree niceness does not show up in the ordinal but am not sure that the kind of intense verbally violent reactions I have sometimes seen from folks on all sides of our current issues have much to say except that people feel strongly.  Speaking the truth in love still seems like a good way to go and +Mouneer Anis does that about as well as anyone I have seen (come to think of it Rob Gagnon and Kendall H. do pretty well in this regard, too).  None of them back down and do lay it out there without frothing for the most part.  I do think it’s important to name a thing for what it is but have noted that when I froth people tend to tune out no matter how right I am <grin>.

[26] Posted by Village vicar on 4-8-2011 at 11:06 AM · [top]

Matthew 23 is evidently compatible in Our Lord’s mind with “love your neighbor”. I think that Matthew 23 ranks at the “verbally critical” end of conversational exchanges and one wonders whether those so criticized said it made them “tune out”. Of course the exchange isn’t only for them but for those who need to learn from it.

Likewise I’m reading “Against Eunomius” by Basil of Caesarea and note that he is witheringly sarcastic about Eunomius. One suspects that he is not so writing because he thinks he will persuade Eunomius but because he wants to warn others of the dangers of Eunomius’ heresy.

If one is warning of an accident on the road ahead, one might raise one’s voice and flap one’s arms. And if one did not so do - on might reflect afterwards if one had really done all that might reasonably be done to warn oncoming drivers.

[27] Posted by driver8 on 4-8-2011 at 12:13 PM · [top]

#26,27
I agree that discernment and warning against false teachers are two different responsibilities that require different tactics. 

In discernment, you are still sounding out the opponent and gentleness is still in order.  I think of Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus and Paul’s exhortation to Timothy to deal with opponents with patient endurance and gentlenss.

When false teaching has been firmly established and is exercising power over the flock a completely different tone emerges.  Jesus spoke the woes to the Pharisees, not to them directly but to his disciples.  Paul’s memorable jibe against the circumcision party was directed to the Galatians, not to the false teachers themselves.

Tom Wright outlines Jesus’ method for bringing down strongholds of false teachers and the father of Lies in order to establish His Father’s kingdom in the lecture,  Revelation and Christian Hope: Political Implications of the Revelation to John .  Wright cites John 18 and 19 as the centre of biblical theology. 

First we must be prepared to engage with and critique authority, acknowledging that there is no authority over us except that permitted by God.  Jesus criticised but did not insult his prosecutors.

Second, we must be prepared for costly non-collaboration with unjust authority.

Finally, we must be prepared for martyrdom in order for God’s kingdom to be established on earth as it is in heaven.

[28] Posted by Canadian Hobbit on 4-8-2011 at 01:05 PM · [top]

The fact of One Lord One faith One baptism is the unifting doctrinal force of all Christendom. Anyone one who would deny this fact is indeed a heretical ( on the border of being a satanic) individual. It is ok to be angry at such a person, but lovingly so. We may be angry yet without sin. Jesus himself flipped out on the Pharisees at one point and literally beat them out of the Temple for turning it into a bank rather than the House of prayer for all people it was designed to be. The Holy Spirit can change the hearts of unbelievers not our educational excellence. Looks like yall have a great opportunity for fasting and praying esp. during this Lenten Season.

[29] Posted by Calhoun on 4-11-2011 at 05:59 PM · [top]

[29] Calhoun

The fact of One Lord One faith One baptism is the unifting doctrinal force of all Christendom.

That’s all well and good, but remember three things. 

1.  You must define who that Lord is.

2.  You must define the both content and the efficacy of the faith.

3.  You must answer the question “Baptized into what?”

The apostates who run TEC (and the rest of liberal Christianty) answer each of those questions incorrectly, and that is why there can be no unity with them.  They are not Christians.  They are not believers.  They are wolves who stand with one foot in Hell, and eagerly point people along the way to destruction.

carl

[30] Posted by carl on 4-11-2011 at 06:10 PM · [top]

They are charlatans dressed in religious garments and pointy hats, and y’know what?  They don’t argue the point with us; they just go on and on and on with preaching something, but it sure isn’t Christianity, is it?  And do you know why they don’t argue the point?  It’s because they know they’re liars and they’re not telling the truth!  Istead, they’re deceivers.

[31] Posted by cennydd13 on 4-11-2011 at 07:59 PM · [top]

I recall being part of a small fellowship, headed by an evangelical priest, when the book The Shack came out.  Everyone I knew who read it, raved about it—how much it helped them understand God better.  Not being fond of evangelical fads, I finally reluctantly read it—and while I found it a touching, clever and compelling story—it was full of problems and even heresy in its central teachings about the holy Trinity. My innitial misgivings were confirmed—the more I read what other, better scholars than myself, discovered in The Shack, and especially in the beliefs of its author Paul Young.  When I discussed this with the priest, he brushed it off….more or less dismissing my concerns, even though, if you recall, The Shack was a big hit in evangelical circles—gaining plaudits from the likes of Eugene Peterson. 

My point here is not to get off on a rabbit trail about The Shack (save that for another day…besides, the fad is past, PTL!) but rather how a leader (I’m a seminary graduate and aspirant for the priesthood) can confront other leaders—in authority over him—when he sincerely sees heresy in the Church or her culture, when they don’t really seem to exercise the discernment to see….

[32] Posted by banned4Life on 4-22-2011 at 02:06 PM · [top]

LuxRex [32]. Best wishes (1) for a discernment process that recognizes those who aspire to truly preach the Gospel, (2) for a successful and appropriate ordination, and (3) for a fulfilling career of ordained service. It is difficult to correct those higher up the chain of command. The best you can do is be true to your faith and principles and if conflict has arisen or seems likely to arise, express honestly your convictions and say that you respectfully disagree and ask that the person respectfully honors your convictions.  If you feel you have to walk, there are a lot of places to walk to these days. But understand that in these days there will likely be heresies whereever you walk but Christ will walk with you.

[33] Posted by Don+ on 4-22-2011 at 05:25 PM · [top]

Lux,
Best to you in your aspirations.  I had read troubling reviews of “The Shack” and decided to give it a skip.  Glad that you have confirmed my hesitations.

[34] Posted by Paula Loughlin on 4-22-2011 at 06:24 PM · [top]

Just saw this and thought it very pertinent:

“Be not intimidated… nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your liberties by any pretense of politeness, delicacy, or decency. These, as they are often used, are but three different names for hypocrisy, chicanery and cowardice.” John Adams

I might exchange liberties with “your church’s orthodoxy”.

[35] Posted by robroy on 5-5-2011 at 03:14 AM · [top]

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