Sunday, March 16, 2008
The Honesty - Dualism Connection Part I
When I started this Blog, it was titled something about being brutally honest in an Evangelical world. My attempts were to peel back layer after layer of honesty within the Evangelical context. I had to then write anonymously because the things I was writing would have hurt a lot of people (see my posting about being "too honest”). But, like I said before, I decided to "come out of the closet" and disclose my identity and refocus on the basic problem . . . which I believe is the Gnostic Dualistic influence on the Church over the ages . . . especially modern Evangelicalism.
So, in this posting, I want to try and make the connection between the barriers of honesty within the church and their Dualistic way of thinking.
First, I want to define the kind of honestly issue that I'm tallking about. I will have to use personal, true examples to make my point.
About ten years ago, my wife and I went through a very serious conflict within our marriage. It was a complicated situation that would take pages to try and explain. This was after fifteen years of marital bliss. It wasn't like we didn't want help. We were desperate for help, real help. But, we had been seen as spiritual leaders. After all, we had been missionaries, elders, and generally leaders in the church.
But trying to approach people within the church was very difficult. It wasn't just my pride (this was before I had become as honest as I know believe that I should be). Just to attempt to talk to people seemed to be met with horror and I wasn't even mentioning the really bad parts.
I did have an old Navigator friend who lived in another state (and not of the old, legalistic Navigator school). We had many long and fairly candid conversations. I also met with the pastor. He was well known as a "godly" man. However, he too could not venture within the deepest parts of what we were dealing with. He used a counseling method that was taken from some super-duper mega church. It was four meetings with four precise (mechanical) steps. 1) Identify the problem, 2) give a plan to fix the problem, 3) check up on the Plan, 4) create the long range plan.
This was a formula that might work in business, but what I (we) needed was someone (sort of like my long-distance Navigator friend) to grab us and cry with us. Then to give us the love that made us feel safe enough to pour out all the dirt knowing that we would not end the relationship with that friend. I did not feel that with the pastor. Well before I could get to the really nitty-gritty of the problem, I was feeling condemned (or at least he was being disappointed even at the minor things). So I certainly couldn’t share my heart.
This reminded me years before, when I just returned from the mission field and was doubting God’s existence. I worked with a true-blue evangelical who was deeply offended if I tried to share with him what was going on in my heart. He would quote a verse or give me a cliché (like from a popular Christian song) . . . often along the lines, “Who are you to doubt God . . . He never doubts you!” So, of course I couldn’t talk to him about what was going on in my private places of my heart. Oddly, this same man abruptly left his wife and seven children a few months later to run off with a young women . . . whom he was having sex with at the very time he was condemning me.
So, in my pursuit of honesty, I know even within our most “godly” evangelical circles there’s some real, (deeply hidden) sorrows.
When I come back, I want to show why Gnostic Dualism is so compatible, and actually sets up, us to live in Evangelical dishonestly (what young people call the Evangelical farce).
Posted by MJ at 2:10 PM