Monday, July 25, 2011
On Being "Gracious"
It seems that some people don't like my personal writing method. Apparently I'm not "gracious" enough. I'm too raw, too blunt, not "diplomatic" enough for the delicate eyes of some of my readers. I need to balance truth with a bit more grace. I have to wonder...what, exactly, is their definition of "gracious"? Because as far as I can see, I haven't maliciously attacked anyone. I haven't called names or imputed nasty motives. Mostly I just rip apart pet teachings and ideas. I take white-washed lies and expose them for the filth they are. (Oh, am I allowed to say "filth"? Or is that not gracious enough?) To these folks, "ungracious" actually means "saying anything against accepted religious leaders" and "finding fault with someone's teachings" and perhaps "rocking the boat".
I suppose Jesus could've been more gracious when He drove the money-changers out of the temple with a whip He made with his own hands. I suppose He should've use more diplomacy when calling out the Pharisees and using such ungracious name as "brood of vipers" and "blind guides, fools", "serpents", "murderers", and "white-washed tombs". I think that Paul could've been a bit more understanding and nice when writing the book of 1 Corinthians. He did use some harsh language in that one. Now that I think about it, telling the Galations he wished the religious leaders would mutilate themselves was a bit much. Stephen probably should've used some other words toward the Pharisees than "stiff-necked and uncircumcised" to get his point across. But I suppose he realized that a little too late. And can I just mention that John the Baptist wouldn't know diplomacy if it smacked him in the face?
You see, sometimes exposing ugliness is ugly. You cannot make it pretty or smooth it over with flowery words. You can't polish crap. In the end, it's still crap. Stating that a teaching or a book or an entire seminar is twisting the gospel of Jesus and causing all sorts of damage to the hearts and souls of people is not being ungracious. It's just exposing lies and darkness, which isn't a pretty sight and not for the faint-hearted. It's doing exactly what Jesus, his apostles, the prophets, and all the people of God in the Bible were called to do. If you can't take that, then go find some fluffy bunnies and rainbows and butterflies website to read.
Some of us have more important things to do than make ourselves and others feel good all the time. There's too much at stake here to stick our heads in the sand and ignore the pain, the darkness, and the ugliness. To try to brush it over with pretty pastels and nice pictures. People's lives and souls are at stake here, and I will not try to make that pretty just to keep from offending the sensibilities of people who can't take the reality of the dark side of life and religious addiction. If that makes me ungracious, then so be it. Just count me in with the many people throughout history who weren't afraid to tell it like it is. (Though thankfully I'm not in danger of being stoned, beheaded, or torn apart by lions like most of them were.)
People are being spiritually slaughtered, the Name of Jesus is being dragged through the mud and used to enslave souls, "christians" are pretending none of this happening and attacking others who say it is, and I'm beyond caring whether people think I'm being "gracious" enough. I don't have time for that. I'm too busy pulling people out of the ugliness to spend time making the ugliness sound better than it is so people aren't offended.