When You Know That You Know What You Know That You Know
I had an interesting discussion with a Deacon in our church a few months back; he was upset at the fact that the biggest percentage of folks don't really get "into" worship. He knows I do, and remarked that it was a surprise that I was even still there. I told him I knew my 3 areas of calling .. teaching, heading the "prayer team", and my involvement in the counseling ministry. I said that the involvement of others in the worship services, no matter whether great or silent, had no effect on me and why I was there. He remarked that he didn't believe me ... that one HAS TO react to things like that, and I told him no, I really didn't.
He didn't believe me. He said he absolutely thought I was not telling the truth; that I literally had to be affected by the attitudes and demeanor of those around me.
Now, it would be different were I in some position of authority and had responsibility for the Spiritual condition of the flock, but beyond my sphere of responsibility (SS class and the Prayer Team), I'm not. So the worship involvement of the flock is their business, and perhaps that of the Elder of the flock.
I think one thing that upsets folks is when someone really knows what they know. When they are emphatic in their thoughts. Consider two scenarios:
1) Someone is emphatic in what he knows and will vigorously state his opinions, but is not much shaken when others differ, or don't like it. And is perfectly agreeable in disagreeing with others. They're normally nice, perhaps because differing views don't threaten their beliefs. They respond to information with information.
2) Someone has sound beliefs and will defend them but may retreat a bit when challenged. They may be somewhat disagreeable, even. And when disagreed with, they can be hard to get along with. Folks like that may smile, but have an easy "attack" mode. They may not simply respond to information with information.
There are, of course, other varieties, but these make a lot of sense to me when I see what I see.
I think Jesus was a hale and hearty Man, Who was a blast to be around. I don't think the classic Sallman head we see so much is anything like what He was really like. And I think He was of the #1 sort.
For one thing, He was invited to the wedding feast at Cana. That's no place for a wet blanket, or a "condemner", or an attacker, and I don't think He was one of them. At all. I mean ... folks were expected to get all blotto (to the point they couldn't tell the difference between the good wine and the cheap stuff), then keep on guzzling it down. And they invited Jesus to the hootenanny, and He went.
Also, I think He was a terrific specimen of a man in perfect physical condition. Body unmarred by sin, and never suffering under the natural results of the sin that blurs our eyes and pads our tummies and grays our teeth. Perfection, in the flesh.
IN addition, I think He knew what He knew more strongly than anyone else ever has, and when He stated something, it was authoritative and emphatic so that no one doubted where He stood. Yet He was supremely accepting of others, except those who misused the temple, directly (moneychangers) or indirectly (Pharisees, et al).
That got me to thinking, and it surfaced bigtime when I perused the comment thread on Wade Burleson's blog, the one following the Corbaley letter; it brought up something I realized about Rev. Burleson that I admire, but may cause some folks problems.
I've heard him preach several times, have been in meetings with him more than once, and have had meals with him and others a number of times. He's one of the most emphatic people I know, and sure of what he believes. And he's perfectly at ease with those who disagree with him over this or that. When he preaches, he is as emphatic a person as I've ever heard, in thought and delivery.
I recall a time when someone criticized me over the fact that I knew what I believed and said so. I was telling them why I was secure in my faith, and they said I was being arrogant. I wasn't, but it helped me to see that someone who knows that they know what they know ... in my case, it's what God has done in me and for me and the security I have in Him ... can be seen by others as arrogant. Perhaps that's a reflection of the fact that we all acknowledge security of the believer, but far fewer of us have security in the believer.
Let me add that many people who differ with Rev. Burleson on this or that do so, most agreeably. But there are far too many who attack.
CB Scott is another man who knows that he knows what he knows. He's a little less emphatic in delivery, when I've heard him preach, but he shares the trait that lets someone disagree agreeably. And there are things over which CB and I don't see eye-to-eye, but I don't have a better friend in the world. And if there's other stuff over which we don't agree, that I'm not aware of, I just couldn't care any less.
When I look about and see folks criticizing Rev. Burleson, and more particularly questioning his motives, I have to wonder why. Why? Why the attacks? He states facts concerning actions and they question his motives. Well ... I heard a saying about the law that might apply here:
When you have the facts on your side, argue the facts. When you have the law on your side, argue the law. When you have neither, attack your opponent.
Amen. I think that explains a lot.