Saturday, July 15, 2006

What I have learned from my critics

What I have learned from my critics.

Disclaimer and qualifier: First off if you disagree with me, that is fine and to disagree and talk and discuss in a way that is respectful and thoughtful is a great and wonderful thing. In this we can grow with each other. This post is in no way about you. So please take this in the context of those who attack and judge… not seek to gain understanding. In this I see that it is out of love that many of you have approached me… and even ending our disagreements with kind words. It is not a sin to disagree, especially on minor things. Personally I have learned to hold tightly to the essentials, and loosely to the non essentials. In that I mean give grace in areas that though may be important, do not keep one from gaining salvation that comes from Jesus alone.

So what have I learned from my critics?

Truth; Romans 13: 9. The commandments, "Do not commit adultery," "Do not murder," "Do not steal," "Do not covet,” and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: "Love your neighbor as yourself."
10. Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
11. And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.

What I have learned: I learned that it is a good thing to harm your neighbor… especially if it concerns one that they have to be right in their view at the detriment of another. I have learned from you that Love your neighbor does not apply if it interferes with your doctrines. I see that it is better to fulfill the Law, than to Love.

Truth: 1 Corinthians 13

1. If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
2. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
3. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
4. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
5. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
6. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
7. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
9. For we know in part and we prophesy in part,
10. but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.
11. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.
12. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

I have learned: If one is right and the other is wrong I can go off the handle at any moment and show no to little self control in my actions. I can call names and make fun or ruin someone’s reputation as long as I am right on my view of doctrine. If I see someone who seems to have strong views and may even envy them, it is better to mock them and tear them down because they could lead others astray and to trust God with judgment would be unheard of.

I have learned that politeness is not a ‘christian’ virtue, nor kindness, for anger as long as it is ‘righteous anger’ can justify most any action… and self justification is one of the main unwritten doctrines I have found you follow. I learned it is best to keep a long list of wrongs so I can pull them out and read them to mock or use them even if I have to twist someone’s words to make them look bad. I have learned to use evil to protect the truth.

I have learned to not trust that God is working outside of my own actions… so to trust in God is of no value… I must either judge and condemn now, as I am ‘truthing in love’ and save this person from their error. And to even consider what they may know would be an act of humility, which has no place in your unwritten doctrinal statement.

I have learned that love will not persevere if it interferes with your personal doctrine and to give up hope on someone if having any is of no value. I have learned that if love fails… hate prevails. For hate is a ‘christian’ value and a virtue.

Truth: 1 John 3: 13. Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you.
14. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death.
15. Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him.
16. This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.
17. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?
18. Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.

1 John 4: 19. We love because he first loved us.
20. If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.
21. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.

I have learned: I have learned that it is not only good but right to hate your brother if he thinks or speaks in any way contrary to my own personal view of doctrine. It is better to sacrifice the brother to be right that to give into self sacrifice. It is better to take away from someone else be it material or spiritual possessions and have no pity on him. It is better to speak the words of love like a seducer, than to love in action… It is better to hate one’s brother in the name of my doctrine, than to love him if I disagree.

I want to thank you for setting me on the path or self righteousness. I now see that Gandhi was very wrong when he said;

“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”---Mahatma Gandhi

I wonder where Gandhi ever picked up on this view? Maybe because he was not a Christian as I have begun to learn to be, from my critics.


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