Monday, October 17, 2016

Stand Up!

In returning to blogging, I am also catching up on blogs I used to follow. In doing so,  came across an interesting post by my friend and former neighbor (before he moved to Ohio--like that's even a real place) Tom Gilson.

Tom has a well-known site and ministry named Thinking Christian. Atheists like to say the name is an oxymoron1.  I like to think of it as redundant.

In the post in question, Tom talks about visiting a church and hearing a sermon that was bad. I mean really bad. Not just garden-variety bad, but apostate bad. Tom discusses his reaction--or rather what he wished he had done:

One Sunday morning a few weeks ago, while on an out-of-state trip, I almost walked out of church.  I wish I had just stood up. 
I don’t want to explain what was wrong about the sermon, since that’s beside the point here today. Suffice it to say that it was quite wrong, I felt uncomfortable sitting there acting as if I was okay with it, but I didn’t think walking out would have done any good.
I realize now I could have just stood up. 
That’s it.
I could have stood up, moving to the side a bit if necessary so I didn’t block others’ view; not interfering noisily, but not being so discreet about it that no one noticed, either. Just standing.
The ensuing discussion and comments get into whether this or other responses would have been appropriate.

I know Tom. He is way more gracious than I am. I tend to fly off the handle and then later have to clean up the embarrassing mess I've made. If I had decided that this was just too much, for example if it were a prosperity gospel message or worse,  and I wanted to send a public message, I would have been less polite than to just stand up. I'd have been all: "Hey you people do you hear what he's saying? It's a load of crap!" 

However, I don't actually think I would have walked out, but for the wrong reason. I think I would have stayed, not out of grace (if he was speaking a false gospel, let him be anathema) but out of rubber-necking, train-wreck fascination.

I have always said that if we could get Satan to be our graduation speaker, I'd go hear what the man had to say. Who could pass up such a chance?

1 And every time one of 'em makes that joke, they are so proud to be the "first" to have come up with it!  

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