Tuesday, April 03, 2012
I'm Not Angry
But none of that is to deny that there is a problem. Angry Calvinists are not like unicorns, dreamed up in some fantasy. They really do exist. And the stereotype exists for a reason. I remember (with shame) answering a question during college from a girl who was crying about the doctrine of election and what it might mean for a relative and my response was to ask everyone in the room turn to Romans 9. Right text, but it was the wrong time.All those scriptural citations are, to my mind, illustrative, but the point is a good one. People don't always need "truth," sometimes they just need other people.
This raises an important qualifier. The “angry” adjective might apply to some folks, but it can also obscure the problem. In the example above, I wasn’t angry with that girl. I wasn’t trying to be a jerk. But I failed to recognize what is “fitting” or necessary (cf. Eph. 4:29) in the moment. This is the sort of thing that tends to be “caught” rather than “taught” and can be difficult to explain. But there’s a way to be uncompromising with truth and to be winsome, humble, meek, wise, sensitive, gracious. There’s a way of “speaking the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15) such that our doctrines are “adorned” (Titus 2:10) and our words are “seasoned” with salt and grace (Col. 4:6).
To get a lesson in all this - watch the sitcom "Bag Bang Theory." It actually hates religion, deeply, but the main protagonist of the show is a theoretical physicist virtually completely disconnected from his own personhood and humanity by his intellect. It is supposed to be funny, but sometimes it is painful to watch. The uber-nerd hits too close to home at times.
When we lead with theology and truth, we are being God's uber-nerds. Christ's death is not a theory - it's a reality and a painful one at that. Christ's resurrection is the mos joyous event in human history.
Sometimes we need to stop analyzing and just experience.