Monday, July 18, 2011

Decently? In Good Order?

1Corinthians 14:40  Let all things be done decently and in order.

The last week or so has been “interesting” (quote marks intentional).  The above verse has specific meaning, in context.  But it can cover a lot of  areas in application.  And we’ll get to several of those momentarily.  And, yes, today is one of those miscellany days.  So, here goes….

We’ll start with the good news.  There’s an online music service called Spotify that’s popular in Europe and just added coverage (by invitation) in the US.  I received my invitation last night.  I;m now signed up, have the software running on the PC that feeds into my stereo.  You may recall that jazz music an I have an ongoing relationship.  So, I typed the word “jazz” in the Spotify search box.  They came up with 105 songs (6 hours worth) based on the word either being in the song title or album title.  Pretty impressive for the free version of a service.

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You may have noticed that there were fewer posts than usual last week.  I had intended my third post for the week to come out Saturday afternoon.  Unfortunately, my DSL service had other ideas.  It went down sometime in the wee hours of Saturday morning.  Checking various connection configurations, I thought it was pretty clear that the problem was the modem ((original over ten years ago, when I first got the service).  So, I went in the afternoon to buy a replacement.  Only to arrive home to find my DSL working.  Since there were recent slowdowns and dropouts, I was still sure I needed the new modem.  So far so good.  Since my employment also requires web access, my “decently and in good order” was giving due diligence to solving the problem.

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We thought Facebook had resolved the issue of not importing these posts as notes into my account.  Suddenly, 17 posts were imported, up to and including July 10.  But, once again, nothing since.  Let's see if we can nudge them to import more.  So much for "in order".

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The title is written as questions because of an interesting brouhaha that erupted on the web last week.  I’ll leave out the names because, if you weren’t aware of it, you (or we) don’t need to keep the controversy going.  But it resulted from some unkind verbiage from a pastor about effeminacy, homosexuality, and feminine roles.  There has been a history of similar communication.  So, it’s good that he recognizes and responded to correction  Certainly there’s no need to deride men who completely function as men but don’t fit the macho image.  And women ought to be honored, respected and, when appropriate, given positions of authority.  As for homosexuality, God hates the sin, not the sinner.  If you’re trying to communicate with someone who’s in sin, I seriously doubt that name calling is the best way to do it.

My other issue with the situation is actually with the original article about the pastor’s misbehavior.  When I read it, it was reposted by another blogger.  Some very good points were made, but I found some important issues with it, as well.

  1. The author asked if the terms for God etc. had been feminine and women were in authority instead of men, would that be OK?  First, yes.  If you truly accept the inerrancy and inspiration of the Word, then His choice of two extremely precise languages for the original Scriptures should make His choice of wording and gender 100% acceptable.
  2. The Bible has a clear set of steps to correct someone, starting with going to the person alone, then going with a witness, next going with the sinner to the elders.  As a last resort, you take the unrepentant sinner before the whole church.  Nowhere does it say that if the sin was of a very public nature you change that procedure, although the process of restoration might vary depending on the nature of the sin.  The author, by posting the article before those steps were taken actually exceeded them.  Because the pastor wasn’t given any of the preceding steps to repent.  And the nature of a blog being a public forum actually took the case to the world instead of just the church.  The author has to decide how to handle that one.
  3. This one is possibly my own interpretation, so I’ll state that right from the start.  And I know that, sometimes, the emotional context can be misinterpreted because there are no facial expressions or voice tones to fully communicate the intent.  But I sensed a stridency in the article that I might expect from an equality movement member in the world.  But not from a fellow member of the Body of Christ.  It was almost as if emotions guided the writing instead of intellect.  I could be wrong.  But it’s something I felt the author ought to be aware of.  And what comes of it is between them and God.
Those are just some perceptions of my own that I didn’t see being communicated and I felt they needed to be.  If only because I need to be as wary of my own communication faults as much as anyone else needs to be of theirs.  We all need to do things and think "decently and in order."

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Pray for Pat, Denise, Dana and her family, Scott, Russ, Columbia, Jimmy and Betty, Mindy, Curtis, Peggy, Joyce, myself, and Libby. And any of those special people God has put on your heart to consider in prayer?

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