Saturday, October 23, 2010

Teasing, Cruel or Kind?

Once again, I've allowed too much time to pass without blogging. It isn't because I have nothing to say! Ask my friends and family about that. They'll assure you that I always have something to say about everything. The problem is, what do I say to you here, in this forum?
The thing that comes to mind right now, which came up earlier this week in my class, is teasing. In my books, the characters tease each other. Some people are uncomfortable with the teasing, some find it perfectly normal. Is the teasing right or wrong?
In class we talked at some length about the teasing. The group was divided. It was an eyeopener when one of the women who was actually somewhat uncomfortable with the teasing between the characters, said that sometimes she wishes she had friends and family with whom she could tease like that. It would be incredible to have friends who know you well enough to tease you but love you well enough to never be cruel in the teasing. I have to say that it is! I have friends who tease me and are teased by me.
Sometimes their teasing acts as a reality check to see how I'm doing with becoming more Christ-like. Sometimes it's great to know they love me in spite of my faults. Never are they intentionally cruel to me. I know the difference because I know people who are intentionally cruel in their teasing.
And that was the final consensus in my class. Teasing, like anything, can be good or bad. The intention determines which. Anything done to be intentionally cruel is very bad.
But, hurt and intentional cruelty are two different things.
But lest this blog become too long, I'll need to pick up with that on another day. Maybe it'll even be less than a month before I blog again!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Cherished Ideas vs. The Bible

What to blog about? That's my problem. I have so many things to say, but I say them in the books I'm writing and in the class I teach, so a lot of times I don't have much to say when my Outlook reminder to blog pops up. So I click [snooze] or [dismiss] and go on to something else.
One of the things that motivates my writing and teaching is to drive people back to the bible, and deep rather than just a shallow 'what can the bible tell me about my life' kind of reading. I want people to take their cherished traditions to the bible and see if they hold up against it.
Often we build concepts on a verse of the bible. A verse. One. This is a process which doesn't take into account the rest of the bible on that topic. It can be a misleading process. An example that has popped up more than once recently is the idea of the Generational Curse.
I bet you're familiar with the idea. It's based upon the curse from the Law: "I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me" (Exodus 20:5; also found in Exodus 34:7; Numbers 14:18; Deuteronomy 5:9).
But, as Christians, we have to read the rest of the story. What about Jeremiah 31:29-34, Ezekiel 18 and Galatians 3:10-13? What do they have to say about the curse of the law?
(No! I'm not going to give you the answer! If one of my motivations is to drive people back to the bible, isn't this a good opportunity to make you open up your bible and see for yourself what those verses say? I'm going to encourage you to think rather than blindly accept what someone else told you.)