Last week I had several incidents of being around really strident, arrogant believers. Here are a few examples.
- I sat speechless in my living room while a dogmatic charismatic hammered on about how the only way to be a Christian mirrored the way he believes and smashed everything outside of his little box as inferior to God’s will. What he doesn’t see is the relational damage that occurs around him as people try to give him more grace than he will give them. As an example, his adult daughter will not even tell him the name of the church she attends because she already knows that he will be critical.
- The following evening in a casual gathering of believers from various church backgrounds, a reformed gentleman got himself so worked up over invalidating what others shared and proving right belief that he basically blew up the meeting. While others in the meeting want to embrace him in the fellowship, he makes it really difficult to do so.
- From the website of our CLB, “God’s intent is for the church to demonstrate to the world what the kingdom of God is like. As we grow in our understanding of the kingdom, our mission is to be like Christ by representing the character of Christ in our thoughts and actions, our families, and our daily lives as ambassadors of the kingdom.” Sounds amazing doesn’t it? Except people in the community would not remotely recognize this as describing the group. We continue to encounter people dealing with the aftermath of involvement with these “kingdom people.” There is nothing about their exclusive reputation, insular nature, and divisive behavior that demonstrates their supposedly advanced maturity.
What I don’t get is why so often those who claim most loudly to be on the inside track of the deeper christian life are also the ones most likely to be considered asses by everyone else. Their claim is “we are the only ones who are really doing it right,” yet their reputation does not reflect that in any way.
At what point can we be deluded into thinking that it doesn’t matter that instead of the aroma of Christ we have body odor?
What to do? I suppose you don’t tell someone they have body odor. I wonder if the attitude of superiority is what prevents them from seeing that everyone around them backs up a step. Hopefully at some point the fruit of the Holy Spirit will become evident in their life and the aroma of Christ will overpower the body odor.
It is sadly interesting that this condition afflicts the people who claim to have the inside track of the one and only way to truth and church life or whatever. With this depth of knowledge and understanding, one would expect that they would demonstrate in their manner a deeper knowing and reflection of the nature of Christ.
This should be obvious, but I’m going to say it anyway…
If we represent Jesus, it isn’t okay if people think we’re an ass.