Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Keeping our own counsel

Closets are for clothes and not for people. Nobody should be forced to hide their nature and no Christian should be shocked to discover the diversity out there.
That people who struggled with temptation to a particular sin felt the need to hide it from the community of faith did not help them deal with their particular “thorn in the flesh.”
The church I attend is open to all of us that struggle, but struggle with hope for liberty from vice. My church knows that some members have same sex attraction and that some members are discontent in their marriages. It acknowledges any number of ways we fall short of our goal. We confess our sins one to another.

i) I sometimes wonder if John Mark Reynolds thinks about what he says before he says it. He often seems to be a bit of a sucker for nice sounding platitudes that don’t survive scrutiny.

No doubt there are situations where a Christian with a besetting sin should have some trusted confidant he can share that with. Let his guard down.

ii) However, I can’t help but notice the timing of JMR’s post. This comes on the heels of his post on “Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell.”

Yet there’s a fundamental distinction between owning up to our sins and flaunting our sins. Between contrition for sin and parading our sin as something to be proud of. Impenitent homosexuals who demand “their” right to serve in the military are hardly equivalent to penitent Christians.

When JMR entitled his post “Empty the Closets: All of Them,” he fails to draw that rudimentary ethical and theological distinction.

iii) Finally, is transparency always a virtue? Isn’t there a place for tact? Discretion? Concealing our feelings? Yes, “hiding” what we really think?

Suppose my marriage has become routine. The bloom is off the rose. I’m no longer attracted to my wife. Instead, I’m attracted to Bob’s wife. I don’t act on it, but that’s how I feel at this juncture.

Should I confess my feelings to my wife, Bob’s wife, and Bob? Or should I keep that to myself? Confess that to God?

Surely it would do irreparable harm to all parties concerned if I expressed myself. 

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