Thursday, May 5, 2011

Re-learning the same lessons

Disagreement and disunity, they go together like peas and carrots. Lately I've been learning a lot about how to separate them. I gotta say, it's like prying the bottle out of a drunkards hand. Seems like I never learn my lesson.

"Sorry kid, better luck next year repeating first grade."

That's how it feels sometimes, doesn't it? Can somebody give me an "amen" ...or maybe it's just me that's so hardheaded.

I've been down this road before.  Last time it was doctrine, you know the one's:  the infamous five points.  I was like Saul, at the feet of the most prominent teachers, diligent in study, dotting every i and crossing every t.  When I got up from my study I went out to hunt down and ravage anyone and everyone who disagreed.  With my sword in hand I ravaged God's people.  Somebody should have locked me up but instead I got pats on the back and gained the respect of my peers.  Somehow, being offensive was a sign of maturity and a badge of honor.  

"I pledge allegiance, to the doctrine, of the Calvinist tribe in America.  And the lines of division, drawn in the sand make us one nation, under God, indivisible with those who know "all" doesn't mean "all".

I still love these doctrines.  I cherish them.  Christ's finished work on my behalf when I hated Him gives me hope in knowing it's not up to me, He's done it all in spite of me and will continue to be faithful.  The doctrines aren't the problem.  I am the problem.  I wanted so much for others to taste and see how good they were so I shot the potatoes at them with a cannon and slapped them across the face with filet minion.  Only to finish off by sticking their face in the pie and pointing out how foolish they looked with pie on their face.

God help me, I'm doing the same things now with how I see the church differently.  What's worse?  I honestly enjoy poking fun at the traditional system.  Then, I'm ashamed of myself.  Somehow, some way, someone's got to break the cycle.  There has to be a way to disagree without dividing and without having to be silent just because others MAY find your words offensive.  I guess it's a fine line, I just hope it doesn't have to be drawn in the sand too.

So, I'm relearning  the same lessons.  That means I didn't learn the first time.  I can't move on to the next level until I get it right.  Now I see that maturity doesn't come in getting my doctrine right, it comes in making difficult relationships right.  School was never very difficult for me, I was a straight A student.  But this school is different.  In this school my efforts aren't rewarded, they are incorrect.  In this school I have to trust.  Trust for myself and trust for others.  By grace through faith in Christ.  Not by my efforts but by the divine life of Christ moving through me.

The goal is to be built together into a house for God but most times I find I'm just building a wall.

The words of Pink Floyd come to mind:

"Hello, is there anybody in there?
Can anybody hear me?
Is there anyone home? 

All we are is just a...'nother brick in the wall.
HEY!  TEACHER!  Leave those kids alone!"


  1. Excellent post--I join you in attempting to navigate the "fine line"--not wanting to divide, but speaking truth accompanied by love. I don't want to be afraid to share my heart with those caught in the web of a system that bound me for so long. Thankfully men communicated truth fearlessly to me as I transitioned and discovered a new way. The key to my receptivity is that they threw balm--not bombs.

  2. Good words Bobby. It seems that disagreement = disunity is a paradigm we have to unlearn. We are the house that God is building and a house divided against itself cannot stand. So just how do we disagree without avoiding the issues and without being divisive? I admit that I am struggling with the answer. Perhaps James 1:19 is a good start. I will continue to meditate on this.

  3. John,

    Throw balm, not bombs. Love it!


    James is good, I also think of Eph 4:29.

  4. I think this can apply to all aspects of any relationship. Marriage is a big one that comes to mind.

  5. chick,

    that is certainly true for our marriage as well


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