Category Archives: Opinion

How to Be Deplorable

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton insulted American voters by categorizing many of them as a “basket of deplorables”.  She did this on both Saturday and Sunday.

One of the reactions has been to call her speech “hate speech”. Therefore, she offered an apology for her choice of words.

However, I may agree with many of the words that she used. I have observed that some Donald’s Trump supporters actually do hate people of other races, nationalities and ethnicity.

And then I think that Mrs. Clinton was ill, possibly running a fever, when she made the statements.

Donald Trump has been accused of speaking his mind plainly. He is also been credited with “telling it like it is”. The fact is that Donald Trump simply speaks his mind, he talks like a lot of Americans talk, off-the-cuff, casually, emotionally. I don’t think he is particularly skillful at presenting the truth in an understandable fashion. He certainly doesn’t sound like a New York billionaire. (Cue “Green Acres” theme song.)

Followers of Jesus Christ must be different. Let’s not be conformed to any of this. Let’s be Spirit-transformed people who will transform our culture by the presence of God’s Spirit in our own lives. Some people may find us deplorable. So what.

Let’s Be More Reasonable With Each Other

Recently, a friend posted:

Reasonable people can see the same facts and come to different conclusions.

People can be wrong without being stupid, deluded or evil.

If you have opinions, you should actively seek the best and most principled people who disagree with them to test whether you are correct.

If your argument takes the form of “the same people who say thing X also say thing Y and that makes them hypocritical” you’re only attacking the worst advocates of thing X, rather than making a good case for what you believe.

Do not be scared of changing your mind. If seeing solid counter-arguments to a thing you believe in upsets you, then you have an emotional investment in the thing you believe in and that’s usually quite a bad idea.

Let’s be more reasonable with each other.

I would define my friend as an atheist from England. He was probably posting about the opinions of those supporting and opposing the recent  referendum by British voters to exit the European Union.

However, I like his advice for open-mindedness in general, like a set of rules for any open debate.

  1. Expect others to arrive at their own conclusions.
  2. Presuppose good will and intelligence. Demonstrate respect and humility.
  3. Acknowledge that the person with the worst opinions and weakest arguments may not typically represent everyone that opposes you.
  4. Ally yourself with a conscientious worthy opponent and examine what you believe.
  5. Override personal emotional attachment to your conclusion.
  6. If an opposing argument is valid, adopt the new conclusion and revise your previous viewpoint.

Are Church Elections Biblical?

smooth-shepherd

In a church election, the physically attractive candidate is most likely to be elected.

 Do you look at things from the outward appearance?
[2 Corinthians 10:7]

The Deacon board and voting membership will believe with all their heart that they are looking for a candidate who knows the word of God, prays fervently, preaches effectively and has a heart to take the gospel into all the world. The nominating committee will convince you that they were led by the Spirit of God. The church board will know that they know that they have heard the voice of God.

Perhaps most people are not even aware that they are choosing the most physically attractive person, but who doesn’t want a tall and handsome person as the face of your fellowship to the community?

I am suggesting that Christians mistake physical attraction for the leading of the Spirit. They do it with gusto. They make whole-hearted high-stakes decisions this way.

The congregation is a flock, and they will follow like sheep. They will follow a leader because of his appearance and eloquence before they will follow a leader because of his spiritual qualifications for ministry.

sheep


samuel was rejected

But the thing was evil in the eyes of Samuel, because they said, “Give us a king to govern us.” And Samuel prayed to the Lord. The Lord said to Samuel, “Obey the voice of the people in relation to all that they say to you. For it is not you they have rejected, but Me they have rejected from reigning over them.
[First Samuel 8:6,7]

Israel was motivated by pagan nations

But the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel. And they said, “No! But surely a king will be over us!  So that we also will be like all the nations! And so that our king will govern us, and will go out before us, and will fight our battles.”
[First Samuel 8:19,20]

Saul was an attractive person

Kish… had a son, whose name was Saul, a choice and handsome man, and there was not a better looking man among the children of Israel. From his shoulders and up he was taller than any of the people.
[First Samuel 9:1,2]

Samuel nearly made the same mistake

 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees. For man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
[First Samuel 16:7]

God’s criteria are different than men’s criteria

26 For observe your calling, brothers. Among you, not many wise men according to the flesh, not many mighty men, and not many noble men were called. 27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise. God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty. 28 And God has chosen the base things of the world and things which are despised. Yes, and He chose things which did not exist to bring to nothing things that do, 29 so that no flesh should boast in His presence.
[First Corinthians 1:26-29]

The approval of men is not the same as the approval of God

For am I now seeking the approval of men or of God? Or am I trying to please men? For if I were still trying to please men, I would not be the servant of Christ.
[Galatians 1:10]

Pastors should follow the Great Shepherd

I exhort the elders who are among you, as one who is also an elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ as well as a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Shepherd the flock of God that is among you, take care of them, not by constraint, but willingly, not for dishonest gain, but eagerly. Do not lord over those in your charge, but be examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive a crown of glory that will not fade away.
[1 Peter 5:1-4]