Orange Steeples

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We do not usually have trouble being unselfish about things we don’t care about. If something is not connected to us, and is happening on the other side of the world, then the way of renunciation is easy. We let things go quite handily when they are things we never came in contact with.

But when it gets close, and it has the kind of price tag that makes us pay attention, all of a sudden we have opinions. These opinions are important, we think, because they are expressed concerning something that is clearly important.

Now it is important to note that there is nothing whatever wrong with having opinions, or offering a perspective. That is what God wants us to do—that is why He gave us our eyes, so that we might see with them. He is not trying to mortify what we see.

But what we need to work on is how we see, and how we talk about what we see. Input is great, opinions are valuable, and perspectives are priceless. This is body life. Selfishness wrecks all of it. Selfishness and the pride of ego corrupt what you offer, and makes others (rightly) resistant to what is being offered.

Let us say that the elders decided that they were going to paint the steeple orange, and all the rest of the congregation supported them in this embarrassment. You and your family were the only members who had not lost your minds. The arguments for doing this were beyond lame—William of Orange, good, hearty Protestant color, and so on.

What you think about this travesty is honored by God. How you think about it may or may not be honored by God, depending on how much orange paint we buy, and whether or not it is fluorescent. Remember that being right about the orange won’t matter if the steeple of your heart’s sanctuary is painted black, with lightning bolts down the sides. So let the stones cry out.

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Andrew Lohr
8 years ago

” Input is great, opinions are valuable, and perspectives are priceless. This is body life.” Yeah. That’s why preachers always take questions and comments during their sermons, as Peter did at Pentecost. Will the sanctuary be wired for mobile mikes so the sermons can be corrected, clarified, and completed as needed? (A preacher who was always correct, clear, and complete in the matter at hand would not need them, but we’re human beings.)

Rick Davis
8 years ago

Andrew, Sermons in a church service are rhetorical, not dialectical. I would say in most churches there is usually plenty of dialectic time to question and discuss with the pastor after church though, which is a much more appropriate setting for that sort of interaction. Usually people at my church stick around and fellowship for an hour or more after church ends, and oftentimes groups form around the pastor to ask questions and discuss points from the sermon. Time and place for everything and whatnot. At Pentecost, Peter was doing what we would probably call today “street evangelism” which is… Read more »