Uh-Oh!

Uh OhAny of you who know me know that if you hang around long enough, there’s a good chance I’ll say something stupid (and you might get offended).  I really try to be wise about my words.  But honestly, I think no tongue might help.  FYI, this blog is not equipped for audio so there’s no applause button.

As I’ve aged, I’ve also realized some will get offended just by miscommunication.  It’s inevitable.  I didn’t communicate something well.  They didn’t hear what I said.  etc.  Most of the time, the failure is on my part.

Here’s the latest:  A few days ago, I posted a Facebook status that got more conversation started than people who have ever read this blog.  Maybe that’s an exaggeration – but not by much.  I know bloggers who write things just to be controversial.  Trust me, that was not my intent.  My intent on the blog (and on the FB status) is to get people to think.  Simple!

The status was Church = hypocrites encouraging hypocrites

Again, the premise was to get people to think.  Now here’s my thinking when I wrote.  Forgive me if you’ve heard the argument before.  There’s a dichotomy between the nature of the flesh and living by the Spirit.  Although I didn’t have the space to note the following on Facebook, I’ll do it here.  You might read Romans 7 in its entirety.

For I don’t understand my own actions.  For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.  Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good.  So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.  For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh.  For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.  For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.  Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.  So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand.  For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and  making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.  Wretched man that I am!  Who will deliver me from this body of death?  Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!  So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.  Romans 7:15-25 ESV (emphasis mine)

The controversy was over the definition of the word hypocrite.  Offerings to define the word included “thinking oneself pious but not living piously,” and “stating certain beliefs while behaving differently.”  The latter was the definition I proposed.  Here’s where the lack of communication was evident.  I don’t think (in the end) there was a sharp disagreement – although I was accused of being contradictory.  Is that the right word? Nevertheless, there was a problem.

Paul speaks of being in bondage to sin and then speaks of grace.  Huh?  At first glance, I suppose it does sound as if he’s contradicting himself.  But further study reveals that’s not the case.  Paul – Follower of Christ – recognizes sin in his life.  And he says plainly in verse 18, …For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.  So it’s not either/or.  It’s both/and.  1) Follower of Christ; 2) Sinner  Another way to look at it is 1) Sinner; 2) Saved by grace

That’s exactly what Paul is doing!  He believes certain things, yet he behaves (in some ways) differently.  Using the latter definition above, would Paul consider himself a hypocrite?  I think so.  I think that’s a major part of Romans 7.  Why else would he declare, Wretched man that I am!

I will continue to filter my words.  Without an intent of being controversial, my intent is to force people to think.  Please understand, it’s always in love.

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4 Responses to “Uh-Oh!”

  1. Getting people to think AND remain humble!! Great Job!!

  2. I have a bad case of foot in mouth disease. LOL Honestly though I thought the post was very truthful, also it gave me pause to think about who God is and who I am. It is ok for us to be humbled.

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