Thursday, February 01, 2007

it's a jimmy thing #4


jON said...

there's some punch and butter cookies on the table. since it's about -8 degrees outside, the punch has a few ice crystals in it. nice. good to see you cats again.

coincidently, in my readings throughout the week, i just happened to start acts today. i think i'm going to go ahead and read a chapter a day like last year and stroll down memory lane a bit.

i've been thinking a lot about this. as well as some other things. but what stands out to me in this chapter is his mention, once again, of being "friends with the world." going back to his mention of keeping oneself "unstained by the world." and after much deliberation, i think i have to agree with my grandfather. i don't think this means what most people think it means. because in thinking about being "friends with the world", the first images that used to come to mind were things according to the flesh. doing or not doing certain things. and it makes sense because i believe this is what is the main teaching about what seperates us from the world in many modern DO's.
but it is his statement in verse 5, “ He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us", which puts things in a different perspective for me. he is talking about things on a spiritual level, not a material level. i think it is more about doing things from a certain spiritual point of view, i.e. a serious lack of love, valuing money over people, valuing rules and doctrines over people, basically, doing unto others as you would NOT have them do unto you, and not loving god more than anything else.

which, in my opinion, is going to be different for everyone. and it can be hard to accept someone as your brother or sister when they are not following or doing the things that are the deepest convictions of your own heart. and it can be hard to love someone who you think is in the wrong. which is why i believe james follow this up with saying that if we resist the devil, the accuser, the divisive one, the one who would overshadow and destroy love, he will ultimately flee.

james then follows this thought about letting the spirit of god (love) have its dominion in you by telling us not to give that up to judge as the world judges. since anyone serving god from their heart is going to be asked of god to be someone different in different places and circumstances, we should not judge one another. because we don't truly know one another's hearts...

and i love how he caps off the chapter to follow all of this by saying that anyone who knows what is right, and in this chapter that would being loving one another and not judging each other, but doesn't live this way, it is a sin.


Wendy ftfs said...

11Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. 12There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?

When I watch little children play together they are always under the watchful eye of an authority ... a parent usually... they are aware that they are all in the same boat ... neither one being better than the other ... and that there is another taking care of the business of judging the motives of the heart of man ... they play and they love one another ... if they have a spat ...they forget about it and give it up for the joy of playing together again. There are few as forgiving as a child ... which is who we are supposed to be like ...

Susan said...

I find v. 11-12 difficult in the light of 1 Corinthians 5:12-13. Any thoughts anyone?

I find it interesting that the bit about knowing the good and not doing it, is directly after the bit about boasting. Suggesting we know the right thing is to be modest and not brag?

I also find the word "your" interesting in v.3 - that is "your pleasures". Meaning it is ok to ask for others pleasures?

I'm having one of those days where I just want to ask questions and not be definite about anything.

jON said...

but let's cross reference paul with paul and also throw rom. 14:4 and rom. 14:13 into the mix.

which again begs the question, "where is the balance?" and for what purpose do we judge and how do we do it? or do we do it at all? if we look we will find statements on both sides of the equation. i do think an amount of judgement is proper, but is easily abused by our human egos and desires. at least, that has been my experience.

but rather than try to put together a piece by piece paradox, i go back to jesus. one clear voice that i can trust while the others don't make crystal clear sense. who seemed to say in matt 7:1-2 that we are in a better position by not judging others. because how we judge, we will be judged. so i prefer to not judge so that i may receive the same. and interestingly enough, i do find this to be true. the more i simply accept people for who they are, at this moment in time, and just love them without question, i receive the same in return. (some doctrine lovers excluded, of course. they seem to judge and despise no matter how much love is poured out. in my experience.)

Nate said...

First, just giving the impression of the first part of the chapter where James is speaking of where the strife is coming from. It is from asking for things, for their own pleasure. This is where the "do not be friends with the world" comes from. Asking God for things that are important to the world and not to God. Such as a Humvee, or a bigger house, or more money to buy some bling. That is the friendship with the world, asking and trying to get things that are important to the world and not to God. I do not for a second think that this goes in to the actions we take that are motivated by God.

The Judging of one another is harmful for many reasons. First are the filters. Everyone has a filter that they see the world through. So one persons actions may seem horrible to some, applaudable by another, and now you have an argument. That is what I believe is being talked about in all of the verses. Not judging the inconsequential. Microjudging if you will. Holding everyone under an microscope looking for things that are wrong. But when things are truly wrong, then we must act. This comes to taking liberty with our freedom of Grace. When someone is taking too much liberty, and causing public opinion to look badly upon a serving group, then that someone needs to be removed from that group. No Jon, it isn't fun, but it is biblical.

The last part I think this goes back to being friends with the world. How many times have you felt awkward or out of place when doing something you belive to be correct. Such as offering a blessing for your food in a public place, with people you do not know. So do you sometimes skip it so you do not get made fun of? or thought wierd? That I think is part of what is being said here. Not so much that if you do not follow the DO rules, you are damned. But not following the things that you know to be right, even when they are hard.

Jon you really need to deal with that bitterness you have against doctrine lovers.

jON said...

yeah, i know. even after it came out, and it was too late to remove it, it sounded a little sour and off key. but since it was what i had said, and i liked the rest of the comment, i left it. but you're right. i don't want to harbor so much bitterness. on a day to day, it really doesn't come up so much inside. it just sneaks up on me from time to time. like this one... thanks for calling me out.

as to this judging thing, you said, "When someone is taking too much liberty, and causing public opinion to look badly upon a serving group, then that someone needs to be removed from that group." what is too much liberty? or is that different from group to group? what is "really wrong?" i just have a hard time with this. perhaps because i view the world through such a different filter than most. and perhaps that's why i feel at home amongst "pizza people." a group of folks with just as few boundaries as i have. an honest, vulgar, straight-from the-hip type of people.

really, what keeps this hanging on is that i just don't understand. it can be explained a thousand times in a million different ways, but in my heart i just don't get it right now. do i think it was time for us to part? absolutely. do i think it should have happened as it did? hmmm...

one thing that had always kept me back from "go-ing" had been my involvement with the church. not wanting to leave the body of people whom i love so dearly. and perhaqps this is the only way god could get me to go. a big ol' boot to the backside. not just to get me to go out, but to stay out. because being out, now, the only way i find fellowship is to create it on a moment to moment basis wherever i am at. be it with strangers at the grocery store or friends at work. and perhaps this is how it is supposed to be for me. not for everyone, but for me. and maybe that's okay. because i know i am much more fulfilled, happy, and at peace now than i have been in the past. my butt's still just a little bruised. which, again, is probably a good thing. so i can form a new habit of not sitting down so much...

wow. thanks for letting me share gang. i feel much better. and thank you nate for being the catalyst and sharing what you knew would be a hard word for me to take.

kind of goes back to what you were saying...

on a side note, how should we respond to those who love doctrines sooooo much? should we engage? argue? or do the hard thing and just keep our mouths shut knowing that anything we say will not only NOT have an affect? it will simply get our pearls trampled and then have the pigs turn to tear us to pieces.

Nate said...

Yeh, your going to LOVE this. But do as you feel God is directing at the time in dealing with them. For some reason God had me email a message of freedom and liberty to a girl that is bound up in predestination where there is NO freedom, just trudging down a path that is not of her choosing no matter what she does. Most of the time I just listen. Normally I suppress my desire to be right and show what I know. God knows where these people are in their walk, and what he wants to happen, but we don't. So coming up with an actual "12 step program" for the doctrinal challenged is not what I think is called for. Just follow what God lays on your heart.

As to what constitutes the incorrect behavior. Things that God said are defineately wrong, not inferred to be wrong. Best example is the Ten Commandments. Those "Thou shalt nots" are pretty clear.

But why distance yourself from those people? The answer is clear, proximity creates a perception of condoning the behavior. If someone is haveng an adulterous affair, clearly against God's expectations, and the group does not take a visible stance that it is wrong and does not stand for that. Then we are causing others to stumble by implying our acceptance of this person in our group, means that his behavior is accepted, there fore saying adultery is accepted in our group. That would be a misrepresentation of what God is about, which is truly leading people astray.

The truly pardoxical issue at hand here is that the instructions from the bible are divisive to organized religion. Within the churches there are actual clicks that will believe one thing more than the other, then that click may be cast out to form their own church. According to the bible that should be done when a flase teacher is shown. Does God have this done to help spread the word? Is it so that we have no choice but to follow him? Why God put such a contradicting message in is strange. But it could be used for many purposes of good as well.

Sorry, all that just popped in my head and took no time to complete. Probably aint coming from me.

Off of the subject, Jeff Foxwothy's Uncle here in rural Georgia got a new mail box. Just for the fun of it, painted Male Box on the side. None of his neighbors ever noticed it was wrong in 15 years.