Thursday, October 18, 2007

Dialoging Distinctions

I was fighting off anger at our staff meeting this morning and then became soothed by the penetration of God's Word plunging into my spiritual marrow.

I'm hearing all this hyper-emphasis on structure and how important one hour is on Sunday - thinking simultaneously about Israel's cry for a King followed by God's warning of what such structure entails. I'm thinking about the demand for a "permanent" temple and how all 3 never were. I've got King Saul in my head and God's rejection of him, only to be replaced by the red-headed runt of Jesse's brood of boys (were there any girls?). I envision the disciples replacing Judas with Matthias (sp?) whom we never hear from again. I hear frustrations about keys, gate codes, facilities requests, more policies and I seethe. I realize that structure has a purpose, but I discern where the Pharisees became "blind guides" when they lost sight of why the institution was so important.

So I look up the reference in Hebrews 4 about Sabbath rest being outside the structure of one day preparing to argue the error of our ways. And then I read from Romans 14 and realize that my dissension from the one particular member who's driving all this (who said during the meeting: "The church where I grew up was a big church" - aha! - that's his cultural bend) falls under the banner of "disputable matters."

Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters.

I looked up the original words from verse one and found them intriguing. "diakrisis dialogismos" is literally "dialoging (or diliberating) disputations"

Now - who's "weak"??? Well, that gives the advantage to the one reading it. It may be a bit of Paul's persistent use of irony where the reader is allowed to be smug. Rarely will one read it and go "hey, that's me" (we only wish).

Well, I certainly won't change the response. So now I know what I'm dealing with. That puts me at ease and I can then hope and pray that the other person will eventually be enlightened as they grow and mature.



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