Farewell to Propriety, As I've Known It
When I was in Grade School, there was a Report Card grade in an interesting column, which I haven't heard much about, lately. It was titled "Deportment".
DEPORTMENT: the way that a person behaves, stands, and moves especially in a formal situation; the manner in which one conducts oneself : behavior
With reference to the entire Phil Robertson dust-up that's been hogging the media, and blogdom, lately, I have a couple observations. Herewith:
- I believe in free speech. I believe in our freedom to tell someone who's overweight that they're fat. I believe in our freedom to tell someone who is stupid that they're stupid. I believe in our right to tell our host or hostess that the meal they prepared tastes awful. I believe in our freedom to tell anyone, even publicly, what's on our mind ... as long as scripture does not forbid us to do so, and it's not slanderous, etc.
- This freedom does not necessarily mean it is wise to do so. One example of that is, for me, discussing Spiritual matters with the secular press, on the record. I will, of course, tell others of my faith, what I believe, but I do not believe I am free to cast pearls before swine. And I'll leave you to interpret what that means.
- Phil Robertson did an admirable thing in sharing what Scripture states concerning homosexuality and the other sins he mentioned. We need to hear the Biblical condemnation of aberrant sexual behavior, and to hear God describe how that portion of people's lives should be.
- What Mr. Robertson did not do is to exercise any sense or propriety, good taste, good manners (in what he said) ... in other words, good Deportment.
I believe we're not only to teach the Bible, but we're to model good Christian behavior, Godliness, Christ-likeness, and values which make it evident in our works that we are to be like that lamp on a lampstand. To me, Phil's off-topic remarks were objectionable in the extreme.
I suppose the really telling thing about this was that, when I shared my ideas with Peg over lunch, she said "But that's just society today".
Another thing sticks in my mind is that thought about leaky tanks (gas tank, air tank, water tank, etc). If the pressure inside is greater than the pressure outside, then whatever's inside is going to leak out. Contrarily, if the pressure outside is higher than the pressure within, then what's outside is going to leak into the tank. The same can be said for Christianity, too. If the Spiritual pressure within the believer, or the church, is less than the pressure of the world, then the world is going to seep into the person, or into the church. If, however, the Spiritual pressure inside the church, or the believer, is higher than the pressure of the world, then our faith is going to leak out and expose those around us to Christian faith.
There's no doubt the pressures of the world, of society, have been increasing lately. And I'm afraid that we are, collectively, not keeping pace. Enough so that, when Phil Robertson speaks a Biblical truth about homosexuality, it'll get him thrown off the air, but when he speaks with unnecessarily crudity and tastelessness, no one seems to care.