Woe! It’s Wednesday: Who’s True?

Stud Muffin and I have been discussing truth and whose truth is more true and who gets to teach truth and when does enough untruth creep in that a teacher should be called a heretic, a bad shepherd, or a false teacher.

If we start with the premise that we live in a fallen world and the only thing/person that is perfect is the Trinity and their creation until Adam and Eve decided to snack on the forbidden fruit, then everything has an element of unperfection inherent in it.

No church is perfect.

No family is perfect.

No life is perfect.

No cupcake is perfect.

Maybe somethings are perfect … no. Never mind. Nothing (not even a cupcake) is perfect.

So if no church is perfect, it follows that no speaker/teacher/pastor/person/staff member/elder/deacon/mother/son/barista/candlestick maker/farmer/baker is perfect.

I’ve decided on a sliding scale. Not for truth. Truth is truth. Our perceptions of truth may differ, but they don’t change the trueness of the truth.

I may see God as loving and kind. You may see Him as having an impossible standard and being judgmental.

Both views are true. It depends on our perception as to which view we build our life around.

My sliding scale is for those who identify themselves as handlers of the Word of God.

Those who teach doctrine and theology have the highest threshold. I expect my theologians to handle God’s Word with integrity and to thoroughly research any stand they take, particularly if it is different from most (though not all) evangelical theologians.

Next would be Bible teachers. Bible study leaders, teachers, and writers fall into this category. These people have the gift of teaching and God has given them insight into His Word and they communicate what they’ve learned. I have to be wise enough in God’s Word to recognize if they teach something that’s not purely Scriptural, but if I do hear something a bit off, I don’t throw out everything they say because they do have lots of good teaching. It’s been said that you should read and listen to teachers like you eat a fish. You swallow the meat and spit out the bones. You must have a certain level of knowledge though to recognize the bones.

thIf you’re being fed more bones that meat, then there’s a problem. That’s where we get into false teaching, heresy, bad shepherds and so on. That’s when it’s appropriate to walk away, or point out the problems.

So that’s my sliding scale. Theologians are held to the highest standard. Teachers are next. Then it’s the rest of the voices clambering for attention.

What do you think? Do you give more credence to some teachers over others?

Advertisements

Woe! It’s Wednesday: Doormats vs. Fishwives

I’m still learning, growing up, maturing into the person God wants me to be. Some lessons are more easily learned than others.

For a long time, when I had not-nice people in my life I thought I could change them. If I continually turned the other cheek, returned their rudeness with kindness, and reflected Jesus’ love back to them, one day they would wake up, smack their forehead, and say, “Why have I been so mean to Carrie? She’s a nice person who doesn’t deserve to be treated the way I’ve been treating her.”

Typed out like that, black letters on a white background, I see how naïve stupid that was.

Being a doormat gets you nothing except stepped on.

I’m sad to say it took me more than fifty years to learn that.

The last couple of years I’ve really worked (I thought) at not letting myself be a doormat. The trouble is that I sometimes swing to the opposite end of the pendulum and become shrill in demanding “my” rights.

As a Christian, I am taught such truths as dying to myself, being a submissive wife, serving my husband. Teachings that I agree with. In theory.

The problem lies in my practice of them. I turn into a martyr and then I’m an angry martyr when no one acknowledges rewards my suffering.

I feel a constant tug between setting healthy boundaries and being too accommodating to the bullies in life.

I have no answers except that I’m grateful for the opportunity to keep trying to get it right.

One of these days.

Maybe.

Woe! It’s Wednesday: Death, Where is Thy Sting?

As I’ve lost more family and friends in the last few years, I’ve become convinced of several truths.

Death is spiteful.

It wants to rob us of peace.

It’s ugly.

And it’s the great equalizer.

2013-03-29 16.38.33No matter how beloved a person or how despised, how humble or exalted, whether their death is memorialized by the thousands or unknown by more than a few, Death waits for us all.

I took the above picture of Charles Lindbergh’s gravesite on Maui in March of this year.

I’ve wanted to visit the site for several years, which is a bit odd in itself since I’m not one of those people who like to visit cemeteries or collect epitaphs.

I think it’s because I believe there’s more to the Lindberghs’ story. I don’t know much of it, just bits and pieces garnered here and there .

I memorized Psalm 139 a few years ago and my curiosity was piqued when I learned that a portion of it was engraved on Lindbergh’s grave marker.

“If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea …”

It’s fitting, isn’t it? For the man who flew across oceans and ultimately died and chose to be buried across the sea.

But that’s only a portion of the verse.

I memorized a slightly different version.

“If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,               even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.”

The fact that the hopeful portion of that verse was omitted from the marker raises all kinds of questions for me.

Did Lindbergh himself choose the verse? Did his wife? Other family members? Did they leave off the rest of it because of cost? Did they know Lindbergh did or didn’t believe the promise?

Ultimately, I know it doesn’t matter to anyone but me if those questions are ever answered. Knowing won’t change anything.

Lindbergh is still dead. Still in heaven or hell.

I do know one thing for sure.

As hateful and spiteful as death is, as a believer in Jesus the Christ, I will experience death of my physical body, but I get to sneer at Satan and his plan to destroy me. I have the hope and the promise from another portion of Psalm 139.

“All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”

My days here are numbered. God knows when they began and when they will end.

Heaven has become more dear to me as so many friends and family members move into the mansions.

One day, hopefully not soon, I will get the last laugh at Satan and death. In the meantime, I still hate death. It’s malicious and I can’t wait for the day it will end its reign.

Woe! It’s Wednesday

On my old blog, when someone I love passed away I often posted my own tribute on my blog.

I have two people this week.

I called him my BGF (Best Gay Friend) but in reality, he was my only gay friend. We had some wonderful chats about heaven and faith and Jesus and what salvation looks like and what happens when we die. He assured me on several occasions that he knew Jesus as his savior.

I won’t point a finger at his gravestone and declare him in hell.

He said he believed and that’s good enough for me.

He knew for a long time that he was dying. I gave him instructions to greet some of my friends and family members and tell them I miss them.

My other friend who passed away is his complete opposite.

Female.

Conservative.

Mother.

Her illness was advanced by the time she was diagnosed and I didn’t get a chance to give her greetings to relay to my loved ones.

Of these two friends, one of them swore like a longshoreman. The other fainted (metaphorically) in the presence of coarse language.

What a hoot and holler they’re having in heaven right now.

Just the thought of the two of them together makes me smile. Something I haven’t been able to do all day.

I’ll miss them.

Goodbye Daniel and June. You enriched my life. I miss you. See you soon. Love, Carrie