Saturday, October 27, 2007

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.

A LOT.

9 Comments:

At 11:52 AM, October 29, 2007, Blogger Wayne Smith said...

Bob,

Great Post and I agree with you 100%.

When CB Scott speaks, one should listen!

It is sad to see some that are so Blind and can not see what is in front of them.

Mat 11:19 - The son of man came eating and drinking,.... Meaning himself, who ate and drank as men usually do, lived in the common way of life, was free and sociable, went to feasts, entertainments, and weddings, when he was invited; and was affable, courteous, and friendly in his deportment, to all men;

and they say, behold a man gluttonous, a voracious man, an epicurean, one that indulges his appetite to a very great degree, and in a scandalous manner;

a winebibber, a common tippler, one that drinks to excess; whom the Rabbins call (k), גרגרן, who is one, they say, that drinks up his cup at one draught; one that is given to wine, and is greedy of it:

a friend of publicans and sinners; such as are openly and notoriously wicked; and loves their company, for the sake of tippling with them; and encourages them in their revelling and drunkenness; a very black charge this!

But wisdom is justified of her children; either the wisdom of God, in making use of ministers of a different disposition and deportment, whereby some are gained, and others left inexcusable: or the Gospel, in which there is such a display of divine wisdom, which is vindicated from the charge of licentiousness, by the agreeable lives and conversations of the children of God: or rather Christ himself, who is the wisdom of God; and in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge; who, however he may be traduced by ignorant and malicious men, yet will be acquitted from all such charges, as here insinuated, by all the true sons of wisdom; or by such, who are made wise unto salvation. We may learn from hence, that no sort of preachers and preaching will please some men; that the best of Gospel ministers may be reproached as libertines, or madmen; and that they will be sooner, or later, justified and cleared from all such aspersions. (John Gill)

In His Name

 
At 5:40 PM, October 29, 2007, Blogger CB Scott said...

Bob,

Thank you for a good word of which I am not worthy. Those things of which we disagree are of little worth in comparison to the things on which we agree, the grearest of which is that Jesusn is Lord and the Spirit gifts us as He sees fit that we may glorify the Father in this life.

I have posted relating to Wade and the IMB. I did not say all I know, just enough to make it known I believe him and a few reasons why.

cb

 
At 6:04 PM, October 29, 2007, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

Wayne: Thanks for the comment.

CB: I read your post a bit ago. Now, THAT was emphatic. And well, well spoken.

 
At 8:27 AM, October 30, 2007, Blogger Paul Burleson said...

Bob,

My laptop is in the laptop hospital. My desktop remains in my home. When I travel I am over the top in being out of the blog loop. I've been traveling much of late and am late...in reading your post that is. Now I've read it.

My question is...how can I get every Southern Baptist to read it? Better yet, how can we get you and C.B. elected to our highest offices to turn this Southern Baptist ship around? Still further, why didn't you join the churches I pastored when I pastored. You raise a lot of questions in my mind as you can see. :) Good words.

 
At 8:54 AM, October 30, 2007, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

Paul,

You cannot imagine how much this insecure shy old fat kid appreciates your kind words. Thank you.

When you pastored, I was a sprinkled presbyterian, probably. So much for that question.

I'm sure not interested in denominational office (yeh yeh .. I know) and I'm pretty sure CB's not, either. As for reading my blog, I ain't got a clue and I won't solicit readership on other comment streams or emails, either. If there's any merit here, I figure God'll bring in whomever He wants and if there is, and folks don't read, I'm sure you can find a message in that little fact, too.

As to raising questions .. well .. good. I try to do the same thing amongst my SS class members. So, welcome to the Couples for Christ Class of FBC Pelham.

 
At 9:00 AM, October 30, 2007, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

ps for Paul: I'll stop by the office and pick up a box of envelopes for you.

 
At 9:29 PM, October 30, 2007, Blogger Bryan Riley said...

Yep. Well said.

 
At 8:55 AM, October 31, 2007, Blogger Bones said...

Bob,

Common' over to the Pentecostal church if you want to see people get "into" worship. Some people say it's just a bunch of people wrapped up in emotion, but, I feel it's the most freedom I have experienced in my life. (Every time God has moved in my life, the event has brought great emotion) God can really "move" in a service that there is freedom.
Recently, I had the opportunity to talk to a member of your church. Being from another denomination, I began to ask him questions about the church, what he believed, and how he worshipped. Of your two scenarios, he was of the first. He knew what he believed and was comfortable with it. As we talked, I began to ask him how the church worshipped. He told me the services were normal, quiet services that you could set your watch to. But, as he pondered my question, he told me the most memorable service he had had there was about two years ago. As he walked into the sanctuary, he could feel the presence of God. He said, "the air was so thick, you could touch it". Immediately, the Pastor called the congregation to prayer. Two hours later the service calmed down enough to dismiss.(I'm not saying God wasn't there all the other services-just telling my story)
That got me thinking. If God can move like that,why doesn't HE more often? Is it us that limits God? Does He expect us to worship openly? Of all the services, why did this man remember that service the most?

Looking at your two scenerios, I used to be the second, but, am now the first. I think the change, from one to the other, occurs when we,as Christians, begin to "walk the walk and talk the talk". When we get in the word and KNOW what we believe. Not just believe something because that's what we were taught. That's were my calling is: to teach and test Christians in there beliefs. Not just what you believe, but why.
For a long time, I used to read, in the Bible, about John and thought how arrogant he was. Always telling others what they were doing wrong and how they needed to change. But,as I have become the guy who "knows what he knows", I realize it's not arrogance at all. It's the Spirit of Boldness the Holy Spirit gives you when He is living in you and you are following Him.
All I can say is, if anyone calls you arrogant they might need to take a look at their own life. While it is healthy to agree to disagree, we should be sensitive to the Spirit and live in unity.
Thanks,Bob,for another great blog.

 
At 9:28 AM, October 31, 2007, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

Hi Bones,

Thanks for commenting. I'll have to call and ask who that guy was as I don't remember a service like that; particularly one that lasted 2 hours. That'd have to be the 10:45 service, as there's no room for earlier services to run that long; or the evening service. Of those, only the 8am service is quiet.

I hasten to add that folks are perfectly welcome to sit quietly in the services; Brother Mike is explicit that worship is up to each individual.

I've spent plenty of time at Pentecostal services, and as you can probably guess, I don't go to worship to see anybody else at all, except Jesus. In fact, I learned mostly about worship at Kingwood (weekly prayer meeting) and Red Hills Baptist in Kingston.

 

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