Monday, March 26, 2012

More Kindness



Some days, this is my entire theology.

We all need more kindness in this world...

17 comments:

Marshall Art said...

"Some days, this is my entire theology."

Indeed.

John Farrier said...

That was spectacular.

I don't know if you meant that as criticism or approval, Marshall. A life that expresses this song would be morally awesome.

Alan said...

"I don't know if you meant that as criticism or approval,"

Heh. Really? You don't?

I'll give you 3 guesses and the first two don't count. It's Marshall for pete's sake; of course it is disapproval. What else could it possibly be?

Marshall Art said...

Leave it to Alan to cast aspersions.

Dan said that some days, the song is his entire theology. Look at his posts and tell me it is merely "some days". It is the basis of his theology based on his own expressions of what it means to be Christian.

The song expresses lovely sentiments. But "what the world needs now, is love, sweet love", is a far cry from what the world really needs, if one is speaking from a Christian perspective.

John Farrier said...

You take what you can get.

Years ago, when I was a Christian, Dan and I would get into arguments about the historicity of the Virgin Birth and other traditional fissure lines between liberals and conservatives.

When I went through my painful exit from Christianity, I vividly remember many staunchly theological conservatives (Total Depravity, Virgin Birth, etc.) acting like complete dicks to me. And I remember that Dan's immediate response was one of kindness, compassion and decency.

My point is that it's easy to espouse correct doctrines, but harder to live as though they're important.

As an ex-Christian now, I am unimpressed by what Christians say they believe and more interested in how they live their lives.

Marshall Art said...

And frankly, that does little to impress me, as it is almost cliche amongst non-Christians.

But from a Christian perspective, and this goes to your anecdote, a true understanding results in kindness, compassion and decency as a natural byproduct. If those people were truly acting poorly, then they were not truly convicted in Christianity. Yet at the same time, true kindness, compassion and decency can often feel rude and mean to the one on the receiving end. For example, I'm accused of hateful things because of my opposition to homosexual behavior. But an objective look would reveal that my position is true kindness, compassion and decency. But it's opposition so it is not taken as kindness at all.

My point in my previous comment relates to kindness and hugs for the sake of kindness and hugs. They are not lasting. But true faith in God and the manifestations that faith provokes is and has a greater beneficial impact on everything. Those complete dicks love others and show kindness, compassion and decency to many.

Marshall Art said...

John,

I didn't realize at first that you had provided a link to a post of yours at your blog. I just checked it out and have a few thoughts that I will send to you privately. I must read the post again and the many comments and then I'll contact you if there is a way to do so. Bear with me here, as there are some parallels in my own situation that might be of interest.

Alan said...

Cast aspersions? I don't think that means what you think it means.

Actually, I was correct. It was disagreement. (Of course it was.) And the reason that John's story is a cliche is exactly because of people like you. It is cliche because it is all too often true, as you demonstrate again and again and again and again and again.

You prove his point and you prove mine all in one comment.

And, no one has to "cast aspersions" for people to see exactly what you're about. Casting aspersions would be redundant.

Alan said...

As for John, the post you linked to is all too common a story among many. I'm sorry that has been your experience in the church. Sometimes the most rational thing someone can do is walk away from such situations. Anyone that condemns you for doing so is themselves a prime example of exactly the kind of abuse you already experienced and should be roundly ignored (as I'm sure you do.)

Abusers and bullies can't stand it when they're game is displayed to others, and those same abusers and bullies will keep trying to cause the abuse and bullying because they have nothing better to do.

Surely you know of the fable of the scorpion and the frog? It is their nature.

Parklife said...

"For example, I'm accused of hateful things because of my opposition to homosexual behavior."

Well.. thats not true. Its one thing to disagree... Its another to be insulting and degrading.

John Farrier said...

Marshall wrote:

But from a Christian perspective, and this goes to your anecdote, a true understanding results in kindness, compassion and decency as a natural byproduct. If those people were truly acting poorly, then they were not truly convicted in Christianity.

I get this, it's just that it's easy to slide into No True Scotsman fallacies this way.

I'm referring to relative rather than absolute contrasts. Observed behavior is a more useful indicator of belief than theological exposition.

I just checked it out and have a few thoughts that I will send to you privately.

You are most welcome.

John Farrier said...

Thank you, Alan.

Alan said...

"For example, I'm accused of hateful things because of my opposition to homosexual behavior. ..."

*buzz*

Sorry, wrong answer. Thanks for playing.

I know plenty of people who oppose all sorts of things I have no problem with (and vice versa). But they're not hateful jerks, so I don't accuse them of being hateful jerks.

Just because someone is allergic to peanuts doesn't mean I can't enjoy a candy bar. Same with other people's opinions on any number of topics: religion, sexuality, economics, politics, etc.

Glad I could help clear up your confusion, MA. Always happy to help.

Marshall Art said...

And yet, you've never been able to clear up the confusion regarding your opinion of me as a "hateful" jerk. I mean, of all types of jerks to which I might be compared, "hateful" would be a charge that should be easy to support. So, if my answer was wrong, then no example of hatefulness on my part only adds to the confusion, and you haven't helped at all.

Dan Trabue said...

Fellas, let it go.

Shake hands and make up and go home.

Marshall Art said...

Who's fighting? Alan is always happy to help and I am seeking that help. Feel free to join in (it's your place, after all).

Carole said...

Nice post. You might like this Wordsworth quote about little acts of kindness. Carole's Chatter blogspot Acts of Kindness