Nov 6, 2005

Huge Logs And Sawdust

Many "churches" have a vision problem; they see all the little flaws in other "churches," but seem incapable of seeing huge flaws in their own group.
"Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother 'let me take the speck out of your eye,' when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye." (ESV Matt 7:3-5)
Christians habitually entering the Sunday morning worship service with long solemn faces consider this expression (attitude) to reflect the seriousness of the service and the majesty of God; other members waltz in sporting happy faces, reflecting what they feel exemplifies God's love, and they smile because they appreciate all the blessings He has lavished upon them. Both on occasions comment that the other bunch doesn't see the "worship service" in the right perspective. Both see logs in their brother's eye.

The Lord's table is an example of trying to find the appropriate face (attitude) to partake of the emblems in the proper manner. While the emblems represent His death and burial, they also represent His resurrection from the dead. One person is thinking of what He had to go through for us and is sad, another is pondering His resurrection to life and a future eternal life with Him, and they are smiling and happy.

It seems to me that all we can do is accept differing attitudes (smiley faces & solemn faces) with unfeigned love for them in our hearts, and realize that we sometimes just see things differently, neither group may have the wrong attitude, just a different perspective.

We are all different. Sometimes we carry a speck in our eye, and at other times a log. It certainly doesn't behoove me to resent another Christian because they don't see things the way I do! We may be members of His body, but we differ drastically at times, and none of us, on every occasion, will meet the expectations of our brothers and sisters perfectly.

One church may continually find fault with other churches because they don't fit into their rigid expectation of what constitutes a perfect church, this is an example of a church with a long solemn face. The happy-face churches don't appreciate the insinuations that they are not truly Christians, but only pretenders; so they denounce the "perfect church" as delusional, and on-and-on it goes!

All Christians should have as their goal a unified local church, willing to accept each other in spite of their differing hermeneutic and varied opinions. It should also be the goal of the "my-way-or-the-highway" churches to acknowledge they have brothers and sisters in "churches" other than their own tribe, and together they constitute the living body of Christ.

6 comments:

LEM'S Politics said...

How true, we often can't see all the good in others because our view is blocked by the log in our own eye.

Hoots Musings said...

I cannot post because I am busy taking the log out of my eye.

Larry said...

Hoot...
Taking the log out of my eye doesn't seem to help; it just jumps back in immediately with seven more just like it. :)

iggy said...

Larry,

You spaarked an interesting thought in me. Often I think without realizing it I too have that log in my eye when it comes to my brothers in fellowships i consider to be a bit legalistic.

I tend to to be harsher and judgmental about them instead of being patient and loving and realizing as Paul wrote, that they are of a weaker faith and have not come to a point where they can fully trust Christ, for they still depend on their own works. On one hand I see this as a slap in the face of Jesus, yet, I also see this as that not all of my brothers are at the same point on their fiaith journey as myself. I have had a few major crisis in my fiath that have guided me to where i am today. I have also realized i desire more of these crisis for my own personal growth in christ.

Blessings,
iggy

Larry said...

Iggy...
We all have a truck-load of logs in our eye on occasions.

I also tend to be a little harsher when it comes to the legalistic groups, but having been raised in one of these groups I know them very well, and don't appreciate their "holier than thou attitude."

You are correct; one can become too judgmental when dealing with these groups. Many in my family are still in these groups, and they continue to think we're all lost except for their little seperated group. I have a hard time swallowing their judgmental attitude, but by attacking them I can become judgmental also.

Just have a hard time not putting my two-cents in when it comes to a group of Christians not accepting others as equals in the Lord's church.

iggy said...

Larry,
I am sure we both know there is a fine line between bitterness and awareness. I did not mean to imply you as being the judgmental one... on the contrary I was referring to myself as I tend to forget that these are our weaker brothers and sisters and need the knowledge of the freedom of LOVE that comes in Christ.

It is even harder when family is involved. As friends can come and go... family seems to stick with us for some reason.

What I was trying to say is that I personally need to remember that before i found grace I was a judgmental SOB.... that is son of a butcher, ready to cut to shredds anyone who disagreed with me. I knew it all. Then God showed me His grace and my world fell apart... and I fell into His loving arms. He became my foundation. I do not depend on my knowledge of doctrine or scripture in general. I would give up all my knowledge and insight for Jesus' love... to grasp it just a small bit to soften my jaded heart.

blessings,
iggy