February 5, 2011

Bludgeoning A Brother & Blogrolls

I have two ways to try and reach the people that I do not agree with in terms of a different worldview (non-christian) or that differ with me theologically.

I can attack or hammer them on the things I do not agree with them on...or I can try to teach them. I can try and show them that their logic is flawed or use presuppositional apologetics that goes to the heart of their misunderstandings and corrects them or I can try to reason with them from the Bible. The latter of the two is the tact I have chosen to take in these latter days. I know many of my brethren have chosen the former. After years of aggressively going after what I deemed inappropriate in people's theology or thought processes I now take a less legalistic, more passive approach through a "passive bludgeoning" or drumming through repeated education. What I do not understand are those (including my brethren) that slam doors in peoples faces.

I guess you could say I got tired of winning the arguments and loosing the people. The way I approach them now allows me to maintain my Scriptural integrity and doctrine but still approach from a solid foundation and so far it is working. I have gotten beat-up a few times about "commercializing my site" or "whoring it out" to secular advertisers (an accusation I still haven't figured out because I only have ads for Westminster, Monergism and a request for donation) but my doctrine is not watered-down and my theology stays Reformed. I just refuse to become purposely and unnecessarily polemic for followers or for high ratings. I refuse to fall into unwarranted traps of legalism. As a matter of fact, this post itself is about as polemic and abrasive as I am willing to be with others in Christ. This post though is done out of frustration due to the antisocial nature of communiques and interactions with others in Christ that are clearly not showing the "mind" or "fruits" of Christ and the Holy Spirit in them. The "This is my toy, don't touch, mine!" is getting old. I have news for people...its God's not yours. You have no authority that is not granted to you by God. If He granted you none...you would have none and would be powerless.

Apparently this is not popular with my fellow bloggers because I have requested adds to other people's blog rolls to help cross-pollinate and I continually confront rejection and legalistic mindsets that do not consider me "as Christian" as they are because I do not subscribe to their methodologies or denominational dogmatism. Because I do not come forward with a specific denominational statement I am in this nebulous no-man's land. I have on the other hand made very clear "statements of faith" through blog posts.

It is frustrating. I thought we were to discern based in core salvational issues not based on denominational differences? Why do I continue to get the theological beat down everytime I deal with discussions on the Assemblies of God and Southern Baptists? Calvinists and Arminians? I thought we were playing on the same team? Do the differences in these different groups warrant intellectual and theological snobbery, arrogance or worse... blatant ignorance? Was Jesus a Southern Baptist? Calvinist? Or was He Jesus?

When we speak and act as Christians we are to speak and act with the mind of Christ. I do not believe Jesus was a hairsplitting legalist. What I do think it that He was perfectly obedient to the will of the Father and perfectly fulfilled the Law. I believe the Father was so pleased by Jesus' actions and words that He was pleased to have His fullness dwell in Him and because of this all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form in Jesus.

When we/I fail to live up to what is expected of us as Christian (which includes not bashing people over the head with legalistic non-salvational issues) we fail to grasp our spiritual fullness in Christ.

Sometimes I feel it is harder to get along with my brethren than it is to get along unbelieving strangers out in the world. The more I come across the legalistic dogma the more aggravating it is becoming. Perhaps this is my burden to carry because I did it to others for so long. My thorn in the flesh?

To the few fellow bloggers that were willing to share "air time" with me to help further each other's ministries I am grateful. To those that would read this and would like to share reciprocal blog space for the purpose of reaching others I am still open.


Don and Shelly said...

Andy, good post. Our recent struggles have been the stealth-like apostasy that has some Christians challenged to believe that the Bible is infallible and all-sufficient. Many seem to think that anything there contrary to our present-day culture was somehow meant for the culture of the author's day and not for now. There are days when we'd welcome some denominational divsion that didn't include whether or not the Bible in its entirety was applicable for today. That's my rant.

Anonymous said...

I said something similar on one of my Weblogs, but you said it better here. For years, I was away from the faith. I had not rejected it outright, but I rudely put God on the back burner so I could follow my own selfish desires.

One of the things that helped make that choice easier was the infighting and legalism among Christians; I thought we were supposed to be on the same side. Now that we have the Internet and Weblogs, I see quite a bit of praise for doctrinal positions ("He was preaching Calvinism, praise God!", and also, "Charles Stanley preaches eternal security, and he is causing millions to go to Hell!").

While I am still working on getting a proper balance and believe firmly in "contending for the faith", non-essentials are not worth blasting a fellow Christian, or a minister of the gospel just because of disagreements.

Heresy on essentials? Then I will contend.

Andy Pierson said...

No contention on the essentials. Core is core: Trinity, One must accept Christ and what He has doe which is to acknowledge our sinfulness, Divinity/Humanity of Christ, etc. My main issue is when I attempt to cross-dialogue with others by trying to exchange blog space for cross-pollenation and expanding our audience and I get the vapid stare of incredulity (figuratively) and the outright rejection without as much as a response or and actual rude rejection.

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