Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Christian Discernment Paranoia

I'm tired of it. I see it a lot, and I'm just tired of it. You know exactly what I'm referring to. Someone finds one thing or one quote or one recommendation from someone that they don't think quite measures up to their standard of Christian ethics and BLAMMO, that person is suddenly written off into the Heretic Zone, accompanied by a rather lengthy blog post detailing exactly why the person is the potential candidate for anti-christ. Some may even say I've been guilty of this very thing in the past. Maybe I have, and if I have then it's truly to my shame.

Thing is, I SO get having a high view of discernment. Its critically important to weigh all teachings, measure all preaching and teaching and writing, and be uber-careful in what you accept as true and right and Biblical. We're all supposed to be doing that, all the time. I also get writing about things that are clearly wrong. It's a good thing and a good service to the larger body of believers to be warned about things going on within evangelicism that ought not be going on. What I don't get, is the seemingly obsessive way some folks latch onto this Discernment Wagon and so quickly and so easily write off SO many people and their ministries. It's depressing, really. You begin to wonder who's next, and what dastardly and horrific thing will be said about them. Or you. Or me.

Here's the thing... if some of these folks (that do this) knew more about me and my life and what has influenced me and what continues to influence me and shape my thinking, I'd likely be written off as well since there is no way I could ever measure up to such high and holy and perfect standards of these gatekeepers of Christian Piety. You know what else? The very people who spend their days pouring over people and ministries to tear down and tear apart; they don't measure up either. None of us do. Nope, not a single living, breathing, walking, talking professing believer is good enough, smart enough or discerning enough to NEVER be sidetracked by anything or anyone, in their Christian walk. Not even the ones writing about everyone else, all day long ever day.

grrThere's just no grace. There's no "yes this bothers me here for this reason but I see this here and I like this". There's no balance, there's no appreciation for the good even while correcting the not so good. Now I'm definitely not saying run out and start affirming Osteen or any of the emergent/mystic/ecumenical nonsense, but what I am saying is man alive, have some grace and balance and Christian love in what you write! Imagine for a moment if you are a blogger that writes about this stuff, and someone got hold of YOUR life, and inspected it with a fine tooth comb. You wouldn't be sitting so pretty then, would you? You KNOW what I'm talking about, you know there's stuff about you that folks would be ALL over if they knew about it, like fresh meat in shark infested waters.

Whoever once said that only Christians shoot their own, nailed it perfectly. I just wish someone would take all the bullets away.

I just had to say that. I think I feel a little better now. I now return to my rather imperfect life (complete with stinky dog pee on the living room carpet and dirty dishes in the kitchen sink - hows that for Proverbs 31?), and return you to your regularly scheduled blog reading. If you ever read bad things about me and how I fall short, it's probably true. I fall desperately short all day long every day of my life, and that's why I'm so thankful for God's grace, wisdom and direction in my life in ample abundance.



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