(For long enough…?)
the tendency to lay down principles as undeniably true, without consideration of evidence or the opinions of others: a culture of dogmatism and fanaticism.
I’m still convinced there is a lot to be said for remaining neutral.
I will explain.
But first, I remember Billy Graham preaching about being neutral about Jesus.
He used the illustration of the American Civil War – and how one gentleman tried to be neutral about the war, he put on a blue coat and grey trousers and they shot at him from both sides.
So no – we can’t be neutral about Jesus. We either believe on Him or don’t.
The Rolling Stone’s lyric comes to mind – ‘trying to make up my mind – but it is so hard to find so I’m sitting on a fence.’
We can’t ‘sit on the fence’ when it comes to Jesus. There is no neutral here.
We cannot remain neutral on perhaps many things. But my premise is = neutral first.
When it comes to making judgements, or deciding what is right or wrong, we need to be neutral until we know – that we know – that we know.
This is not easy. Because when a given set of opinions is communicated to us, we want to come to a conclusion as quickly as we can. And sometimes in our eagerness to conclude – we end up with the wrong conclusions, one’s that we later regret.
Recently I became aware of an American Radio show host, and was open to what he had to say.
I added my address to his email list.
Like everyone else(?), – I like a mix of profundity and humour.
Humour of the non-mocking kind. There are many levels of sensitivity when it comes to being on the receiving end of humour and basically comedians are unable to please all of the people all of the time, as they dish it out.
We all need a bit of thick skin, a duck’s back from which the water flows off, and a dose of not taking ourselves too seriously, when it comes to receiving humour.
We run the danger of becoming enslaved to political correctness, so that freedom of speech is stifled for evil purposes rather than good.
So – enjoying this radio commentator, most of my observations on what he says and espouses, are neutral until slow persuasion either-way takes place.
Notice the underlined slow. Too many, too quickly, jump to conclusions.
If we listen to someone enough, we shall find ourselves partnering with a lot of what they believe – or not – as the case may be. Give it time.
It is not wrong in my view to be found accepting perhaps 70% of what they share whilst rejecting the rest, but still accepting their legitimacy. Consequently it is acceptable to still follow them and listen-in to their views.
Some folks find perhaps one major thing that the commentator holds, and it’s enough to cause them to run a mile from anything else they might share.
Falsely accusing them of things they are not guilty of, simply because in our view they have made a large faux pas, in espousing one particular thing we don’t agree with.
Professing Christians who expound given views – should get the initial benefit of the doubt, even if they do not wear one of our immediately recognisable T-shirts.
The fact they profess to follow Christ should be enough for us to give them a chance.
We are told however:
Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
‘Test the spirits’ is an important exercise – often overlooked by many hard-line dogmatists. They can’t accept anything the professing man of God says – because of one thing they can’t agree with.
How many of us have got it – all right, all of the time?
Apart from examining other aspects of the commentator, ‘testing their spirit’ entails spiritual ‘discerning of spirits’ – a gift of The Holy Spirit.
We must embrace the idea that we are to know THE HEART (their spirit), of the person speaking.
They can be sincere, but sincerely wrong. And the sincerely wrong can have a good heart (spirit).
Thus discerned – they should not be rejected by us, or dismissed as heretical, because of the one ‘heresy’ we perceive they hold to.
I came across a post, subsequent to my having embraced this American radio host Christian and a lot of his views.
And my openness to him was suddenly challenged by the conclusion of this blogger, who did not speak highly of him.
The one element in all this that I should add, is the fact that I am not from USA, and have a limited grasp of their cultural, religious, and political affairs.
Let’s remember what was said of Steven and take our lead from his life: Acts 6/
9 Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen.
10 And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake.
Stephen spoke that which was right. But he had his priorities right in that his heart was right with God.
[That’s a lot or ‘rights’].
He was an instrument in God’s hands and incurred opposition, as we will also, if we walk closely with The Lord.
Notice: not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake.
As I assimilated what this blogger was saying about said broadcaster, I felt no urge consequently, to flee (from listening to his radio show).
The blogger’s decrying of the ‘conspiracy theories’ this radio host was espousing, was not enough to persuade me to debunk the other stuff he was sharing.
As one who usually avoids like the plague anything political – I got interested in the whole ‘vote steal’ battle and the varying views on both sides of the political divide, in the States. Interested from the ‘truth’ perspective rather than the political.
And in the midst of it all I still remain baffled as an outsider to the situation, why a thorough examination of machines, vote boxes, means of voting and so on never took place?
Am I naive – in thinking that – that could have settled the thing either way?
Well it seems I’m ending on a note I hadn’t planned, ie. a by-path meander into election fraud.
Back to the point – neutral – until we know. Not a bad piece of wisdom in my opinion. Let’s allow The Lord to have the final say: James 1/
19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: