Friday, October 22, 2010
Majoring In The Minors
Amy Adair @ ThinkChristian:
OMG should be deeply offending. As Christians it should give us pause and even, if you’re like my son, the courage to stand up and say that it’s just plain wrong. But really, I think, it’s even bigger than just three letters. I think it’s finding the courage to stand up for your beliefs. Are you living out loud? Are you willing to stand up for your faith?Mark Roberts:
But you must be careful so that your freedom does not cause others with a weaker conscience to stumble. - 1 Corinthians 8:9So, first question - is "OMG" OK for strong consciences but not for weak? Or is it just bad all the way around? Or, is worrying about it the real problem?
In yesterday's reflection, I explained Paul's unexpected use of "strong" and "weak" with respect to our consciences. People with "strong consciences" have freedom to participate without sinning in behavior that people with "weak consciences" cannot do without sin. In Corinth, the issue had to do with the eating of meat that had been dedicated to idols. Paul urged the strong to choose not to do that which would cause the weak to stumble (8:9).
I do believe, however, that it would be good for all of us to consider how our behavior affects others and to consider when we might choose not to do something for the sake of another. The deeper issue, of course, is our willingness to love sacrificially, just as Christ has loved us. In freely giving up that which is permitted to us for the sake of another, we are imitating the self-giving love of our Lord.
In the story Amy tells leading up tot he conclusion I quote, she tells of her child correcting someone over the use of "OMG." I did not find it admirable, I found it lacking grace - which I think is a bigger issue - a much bigger issue. IN fact, there are times when it is appropriate to exclaim God's name - the comment the child offered correction for was “Oh, my God you’re so cute.” Why would it not be appropriate to give God the glory for the appearance of the child?
I could go on like this for hours. The entire questions strikes me as a waste of the important reason God has given us. Why focus on the exclamation when we should be focused on the grace issue.
Mark;s post too has an anecdote - about the consumption of alcohol. As he analyzes it, he looks at what is graceful for the other people in the room. Not "What's the rule," but "How do I help the other?"
What, with precision, is taking the Lord's name in vain is a minor question - how to bless the other in the room is a major one.
So which ought we be spending our time on?