Have you watched the movie Forrest Gump?
I have probably watched it less than 5 times. Probably because its pretty long. But though long it shows us the many facets of how a sincere life goes on, in a sin ridden world. Sincere? Yes. Because one of the refreshing things that we see in the movie is the sincerity of Forrest. Though he was obviously lacking in intellectual prowess, he was nevertheless always sincere and honest. Virtues of which even the Christian church of today, sadly, sorely lacks.
In a very disturbing way, there seems to be “sin”, that discourages people in the church, from discussing things openly, especially touchy subjects, like “Who’s being disciplined or Why did the brother leave or could we fall into pride or are we guilty of spiritual pride; are we self righteous or separatist, or what was done about the brother that slandered the other brother; do pastors really get admonished?” There are surely things to add onto that short list, because sin is sin. In fairness, I dont think it would be healthy to discuss discipline, as if it were a trivial thing. We have to consider the pain of the repentant brother or sister in the matter. And it wouldnt be encouraging in their restoration if we talked behind their backs. But, for as long as the devil is the devil, he will keep the church from facing and talking about such things. He will keep the church amused by the thought that to stay away from such things, is entirely spiritual. Because things like that simply tend to erode the faith of believers in the life of the church, the leadership and Scripture. Such things tend to simply explode or implode at some point, depending on your perspective, or depending on how you get hit by the explosion. So, it actually works for the devil that people avoid talking about sin-laden moments in church, and how God’s holiness is offended by it. It actually works for him that people can nurture malicious thoughts about someone, be suspicious of some brethren in the church. We tiptoe (which is very, very stressful) around people, behaving like British Ambassadors sent to discuss terms of surrender with Adolf Hitler. In a moment like that, words always have to be carefully chosen, lest you be suspected of some treachery against God and His church, lest you be suspected of nurturing some sin that needs to be taken out by high intensity counseling.
- In fairness, i have benefited much from counseling.
But there are those who are more ready to pounce than listen and give benefit of doubt, that the brother or sister has no agenda of sin or ill will against the church or God Himself.
I imagine and believe that when the Lord instructed the church to love one another, it surely meant to be gracious and open, talking about anything and everything under the sun. After all aren’t we family? When Paul said that we ought to speak the truth in love, I imagine Forrest Gump, speaking his heart out on what’s in front of him, not holding back for no reason. And why should he? There was no malicious intent in Forrest. At least that’s what we see in the movie.
Dear Lord, what plagues us that we can’t speak in an honest way without being tagged as odd or sinful?