Contend Earnestly: Not Everyone is Like You...Deal With It

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Not Everyone is Like You...Deal With It


Why is it that we know theologically certain subjects, but in our lives we look like that we have never even read the passage that deals with our practical ignorance? We do this as we worry about things too much even though we believe in God's sovereignty. We do this when we know people will sin against us, yet get angry when they do. We know that we should forgive people when they sin against us, but we usually like to make them run through the gauntlett of shame and "anger stares" first. This list could go on and on, but recently I have been really sinning in this area pretty badly and I just look at myself and see what an idiot I truly am. Now, God tells me I am an idiot, so I should know this, and I shouldn't be surprised, but I am. I am like a little kid that plays with the jack in the box and jumps everytime that ugly clown comes out of his terribly annoying music box.

God must laugh at me...a lot. We sit and watch Seinfeld and The Office when we want a laugh, but the angels Tivo Seth and continue to watch me and my foolish reactions when they are having a bad day.

Anyway, the most recent way that I have been providing good material for the angels that do stand up in heaven, is my thoughts on people who are different than me in the church.

I am definitely a weirdo in my church, which I can see clearly. Whether it is my tattoos, the puffing on a cigar or pipe every once and a while, the love of the urban lifestyle (my church is next to horse farms), non-republican (or democrat), the love of secular music, or just the outright "in your face" leadership that I posses. I am just different than most people in my church. My mom teaches at a jail for kids and so we would go into the most dangerous hoods in the Seattle/Tacoma area to visit them after they got out. I am used to hanging with the most dangerous people in the state, and having no issue just chilling with them. I also have many friends who are atheists and liberal, worked and had fun with many people who were inner city and homeless and also homosexual. This has been my life and I love to be in contact and have so many different friends that always challenge me in my beliefs and convictions. Being where I live now, this isn't the case as much now, which really sucks, but I am dealing with it.

Also, my gifts are different than most in the church. I do a lot of teaching and writing in the church and love to talk to people in general about their beliefs in theology and also in Christianity in general. I love to challenge people to question honestly what they believe and why, and to test it against what the Scriptures teach.

What I have found because of this is that I don't understand why everyone isn't like me. Why not? I know, I am that stupid. I feel like "Which One of These Kids is Doin' His Own Thing?" from Sesame Street. Paul tells us that this is going to be true in the church:

For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot says, “Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. And if the ear says, “Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body,” it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired. If they were all one member, where would the body be? But now there are many members, but one body.
1 Corinthians 12:14-20


So, Paul tells me this, and yet practically I live like everyone should be just like me. I get mad when people don't think like me, I get mad when people don't want to serve in the places I desire to serve and I think I am more mature because of this. When I do this, when you do this, you will be miserable. You will not see the grace in people, but their flaws. You will disregard any huge plank you might have in your eye and see the speck in your brother's eye.

The body has been given to us, notice by who? The body is given to us specifically by the desire of God! So, if I decide that I am important and the others are just taking up valuable space for all the visitors banging down our doors on Sunday to come in, then I am missing the point of the body. They are probably different from me so we don't look like a bar room fight every week. I couldn't imagine a church filled with morons like me, thinking the way that I do.

I need to work on my practical understanding of the church and its members. I shouldn't disregard theological error or laziness disguised as "waiting on the Lord." But, I should be longsuffering and be willing to bear one another's burdens. I feel bad that my church members have to bear with me, because I don't just have burdens, but I am one. The more I realize this, the more I will see the grace that God has shown for those in my church.

Oh, and you want to know which part of the body I am?

Look to Genesis 49:14 out of the King James. You could just insert my name instead of Issachar :)


7 comments:

Steve said...

Dang! I can relate to what you are saying. If you and I are twins, then I need to wipe down.

Steve

P.S. I still think you suck! ;-)

YnottonY said...

Seth said:

"I just look at myself and see what an idiot I truly am."

Me now:
This testimony is true! HAHAHAHA jk I just couldn't resist! I enjoyed the post, along with its biblical reminders ;-)

Tony

p.s. I have the spiritual gift of dishing out humiliation. So, as Steve said above, "you suck!"

barrydean said...

I don't know Seth. I can't tell if this is a rant of or a form of self debasing. Are you saying you are a rebel in your church for rebels sake? Do you go out of your way to hang in the dangerous part of town? I pray that your atheist, and homosexual friends have heard the gospel. I am just trying to understand the attitude here. I also like a nice cigar once in awhile and have a couple of other members in our church who do as well. The last time I went to Shepherd's Conference in Sun Valley, Ca I'll never forget sitting and discussing theology over beers with several church elders and a couple of pastors. But we are serious about scriptures and biblical doctrine. Would your local church members consider that weird?

Seth McBee said...

Steve and Tony:
Thanks for the subtle reminders :)

BD:

You asked if I deliberately rebel...I hope not.

Do I go deliberateley "dangerous" part of town?
Yes, most certainly. Why do you ask?

You also make a point of asking if I share the gospel to the non-Christian friends. Yes. We discuss these issues. And most of the time their outlook on Christians is spot on and quite embarrassing.

Good questions to ask. Let me know if you need further clarification on anything.

natamllc said...

Barry,

I think you would be considered a rebel if you were smoking Cuban cigars! :)

There are some fine cigar smoking clubs on the Streets of New York City!

And, there is danger everywhere there! :) Go, try it, you will enjoy the smoke and danger all at the same time!

L.A. has some nice places too!

Seth, don't you have a Clyde's? What does he think about that nose? Or is that the Clyde's nose?

barrydean said...

Natamllc,

Very true. I would be a rebel. I believe it is against the law. :-) The next time I am in NYC I will find a nice cigar store and walk through Central Park. Dangerous enough?

Seth,

I ask because I was wondering if you are treating those dangerous parts of town as a mission field? I have read about guys who do that type of thing for thrills. Putting yourself at risk for the gospel is one thing for thrills is another.

So your dialog with your non-christian friends is one of you trying to inform them that Christians aren't perfect and that they are still sinners. The true believers acknowledge this and yet will humbly acknowledge their need for Christ even more.

natamllc said...

Barry,

yes, right at the merge where 5th Ave and 6th Ave come to the point at the base of Central Park there is a fine cigar club and they do have an "under" ground cellar where some cigars could be smoked.

Walking through Central Park isn't very dangerous but if you keep walking through towards the United Nations, then you might "feel" the dangers that lurk behind every tinted windowed car driving slowly by?


I know a guy who likes the thrill of going to countries where the Gospel is not permitted to be preached or taught openly. He always buys several "travel" insurance policies before he goes, just in case. :)

Isn't it thrilling that the Church in America just has to stay put and wait and opposition will grow all around us we will soon enough be surrounded with dangers when we are outed for being True Believers?

That's what's going on right now.

Maybe Paul was on to something about us when we read this:::>

Eph 5:8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
Eph 5:9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
Eph 5:10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
Eph 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
Eph 5:12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.
Eph 5:13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.
Eph 5:14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.
Eph 5:15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
Eph 5:16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
Eph 5:17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
Eph 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
Eph 5:19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
Eph 5:20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
Eph 5:21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

If the Church in the United States doesn't wake up and begin to legislate Right living we will find ourselves submitting to some very ungodly, dangerous, life altering political streams!

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