Friday, April 27, 2007

It's not a contradiction, it's wisdom

Some blogs have got a little heated recently over penal substitution and related events. As many have observed, Steve Chalke included, this is an issue that is vitally important. In his words: erroneous theology will always lead to dysfunctional missiology. When things matter we want to speak out. But one other thing each of us (myself very much included) need to consider are things like this.
4 Do not answer a fool according to his folly,
or you will be like him yourself.
5 Answer a fool according to his folly,
or he will be wise in his own eyes.
From Proverbs 26. There's a time to speak and a time not to speak. A time to correct what we consider to be error, and a time to tame our tongues and say nothing. How we're supposed to know which one to do is 'wisdom'. The truth needs to be defended but there are days when it's good to say nothing, where responding enflames situations rather than providing clarity. And b default we think we need to speak, and the person we disagree with should stop talking...

Different people inevitably see situations differently, and especially when two parties divide it's not necessarily going to be for mutually agreed reasons. Maintaining the unity of the Spirit doesn't mean we can't divide - there is room enough for different ventures, but I suppose it does ask for us to be patient, kind and to bear with one another. I find it hard to bear with others - because it means loving when love isn't the easy thing to do.

Six weeks ago I thought I might get to meet Pete Broadbent. He was, I think, originally due to offiate at a Mothers Union service where my Gran got inducted as Area-Vice President. It was an interesting event to be part of (mostly since the average attender was a woman in her 60s... and the experience of being different can be quite disconcerting. Hmm.) Sadly the Bishop was double-booked and busy ordaining people elsewhere (which is perfectly fine!). Now we meet in the comments on my blog.

I don't know if UCCF should have bothered explaining why Spring Harvest asked them to leave. I don't know if Spring Harvest should have responded, in general or in detail. I'm an introvert which makes me prone not to speak when I should. I can type fast which makes me prone to publish more words than I should. And forget all that stuff about sticks and stones and breaking bones, words are very powerful. They're what God uses to create, and they can be destructive.
But the words are out there now... I suppose it's a matter of wisdom.

On sin, grace, gratitude and controversy - Martin Downes

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