By the way, the below 6 points are true of any Christian conversation. Theological or casual. Coffee among two believers or a chat that is more evangelistic in nature.
Disagreements are not a license for arrogance.
I once walked into my local Wal-Mart during the Christmas season. The bell ringer was outside.
He seemed to be a cherry man, Christmas hat, and a strained attempt to grow a Santa beard. He merrily greeted all those who came into the store with a hearty, “Happy Holidays”! Nearby, and at the same time, there was a refined, well dressed, middle aged woman entering the store. With eyes of fire she looked at the bell ringer with disdain. Angrily she shouted back to the poor bell ringer:
“It’s not Happy Holidays, it’s MERRY CHRISTMAS!”
Bam, there you have it. I guess she made her point. It is about Christ….mas. I am sure that is what the bell ringer went home to tell his wife. “Hey Honey, Guess what I learned today……”
Wow, I was not sure what part of this exchange was either Happy or Merry. I had never imagined “Merry Christmas” as a oxymoron! (See previous post titled: Proud Calvinism?!?)
6 Signs of proud Calvinism?
1.) You enter a conversation with a goal. The goal becomes winning an argument rather than Christian fellowship.
2.) You like to hear yourself talk. Rather than genuinely listening to your Christian brother or sister, which shows respect, you are thinking of the next thing you want to say.
3.) You are right about…… everything. Every Scripture, every argument, gun is loaded…. let’s go! Every question asked, every scripture questioned – you have the answers and you are right. Congratulations! You are amazing!
4.) Unintentionally, the conversation becomes more about you and your knowledge and less about Christ and His saving glory.
5.) You have no room for a gospel loving Arminian. (Oh, brother….. -sarcasm and pun intended)
6.) You naturally mock, without thought, the “other” view in a group setting. This mocking is to display to the group your theological prowess. This is a masked attempt to look strong, put on a good face, and silence those who may disagree.
God, help us!
Consider: when the apostle Paul described God’s work of grace:
- When Paul bumps up against the saving grace of God his posture immediately turns to humble worship
Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Romans 7:24-25 ESV)
- Paul is regularly overwhelmed by the mysteries of Christ.
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.
(Romans 11:33-36 ESV)
- “Unsearchable judgments”!
- Paths that are beyond tracing out…”
Let us join with Paul in worship. “to Him be glory forever. Amen!”