Monday, March 26, 2012

Kicked to the Curb - Part 5

Elder T: "What we are seeing is every Sunday you have a problem or critique of the sermon, and that to me seems out of, way out.  ...You're a critiquer" (Critiquer, is that a word, or did he make that up?) "As I see it, you're not teachable." (If by teachable you mean blindly following whatever you want to lay out before me without questioning, then yes, I am unteachable. But as a teacher, I know that one of the important elements of a good teacher is the ability to respond to and answer the questions of my students. A teacher's goal is to guide students to the truth, now shove it down their throats.

Can you see Paul saying this to the Bereans. "Hey, you guys, stop critiquing my message and just agree, would ya? We gotta have some more unity here! You, the guy with the beige tunic, one more question like that and you are outta here! Now open your scrolls to..."

I turned the tables by saying that I could say the same of them. Elder G asked, "You don't think we're teachable? I asked, "Tell me how you have been teachable?" Elder T responded, "Well, we've been listening to Steve, his preaching. We listen to others who teach us in class." So, listening to one man preach, and his disciples teach in Sunday School makes you a broad-minded individual? Again, this borders on pure arrogance. It's like saying you know how to swim because you have been wadding in the kiddie pool, and the big pool is attached to it. I was asked why I said they were unteachable. I replied , "I am saying it because of the same reason you say it about me. You say I am unteachable because I don't listen to you. (And I don't. Not because I consider myslef unteachable, but because in all of our conversations, they have yet to teach or discuss anything. All they want to do is shut me up by crying "unity" and telling me to get in line. That is not teaching.) I read a lot of books, I read my Bible, I feel like I am very teachable. I feel like I have grown more in the last year and a half than I have ever grown in my life. And it's challenging and it is difficult to sit here in this position to say, you know what, maybe you guys are wrong." I was interrupted by Elder T at this point. He asked if I ever ask myself that question. I responded, "Absolutely, I ask myself that question every day, because I went through Bible college and I went to the Christian Church and have been in it for a long time, and for me to start questioning these things and to feel like maybe we are off by a little bit or maybe we're off by a lot. And really when I started to come to that conclusion and I wanted some answers, basically  I was told nobody wants to listen to you, nobody wants to hear it."

What I would like to add: And I want to thank-you. Because you did not respond, I went in search of answers on my own. I read my Bible, listened to the sermons of pastors that I respect, continued to read books that would stretch me. And it has been awesome. It is what has brought me to this point where I can look you in the eye and mot be ashamed of what I believe. It is what helps me to see through the veneer of Christianity that lays on you. It is what brings me to pray for you, that God might soften your hearts to hear and to listen. It is what has brought me to understand that the joy of knowing God is not dependant upon my circumstance or level of comfort. Thank-you so much. I thought for a long time that God would open your hearts, at least to a point that we could work together. But now I see that maybe God did this for my growth and perhaps as a means of holding you accountable someday. That is all in His court. I still pray that He will mold you to be more in His image, something I pray for myself and my family as well.

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