Tag Archive for 'Kindness'

How We Are To Treat Others

For your consideration, a quote by the Puritan Richard Sibbs from The Bruised Reed. Brackets were added by me.

[Martin] Bucer [who influenced the development of Calvinism] was a deep and a moderate divine; upon long experience he resolved to refuse [reject] none [no one] in whom he saw aliquid Christi, something of Christ.

[Even] The best Christians in this state of imperfection are like gold that is a little too light, which needs some grains of allowance to make it pass. You must grant the best their allowance [Colossians 3:13 NLT]. We must supply out of our love and mercy, that which we see wanting [lacking] in them.

The church of Christ is a common hospital, wherein all are in some measure sick of some spiritual disease or other; that we should all have ground of exercising [applying] mutually the spirit of wisdom and meekness.

This is a difficult quote. Although neither Bucer nor Sibbs are perfect, and Bucer was known for his ability to be conciliatory, it’s reflective of what Scripture says. Many of us need to offer others more grace and mercy than we do.

Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
Colossians 3:12-17 NLT

Let your graciousness be known to everyone. The Lord is near.
Philippians 4:5 CSB (and subsequent)

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peace-loving, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without pretense.
James 3:17

While much of Scripture offers us exceptions, this should be our default way of living. I often feel a very healthy (in every sense of the word) guilt when reading through my Bible and coming across verses and passages like these. It’s something the Spirit has been emphasizing with me.

As I see it, two things are lacking: contentment, which results in murmuring–often about others, and the ability to recognize our own sin, including the magnitude of it, all being a result of pride.

I don’t say this out of need, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I find myself.
Philippians 4:11

This saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them.
1 Timothy 1:15

Remind them to submit to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to slander no one, to avoid fighting, and to be kind, always showing gentleness to all people. For we too were once foolish, disobedient, deceived, enslaved by various passions and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, detesting one another.
Titus 3:1-3

The Bruised Read

Some Things I Believe

  1. I regard Adam as one person, as did Jesus and Paul.
  2. I think that each day of creation was most likely a literal day as we know what a day is now.
  3. I believe the Scriptures are inerrant.

Those are just a few examples relevant to this post.

It saddens me that people call me names or put labels on me because I believe these things. I’m not a fundamentalist and I don’t believe these things because I’m Reformed/Calvinist. I believe the first two because I believe that’s what the Bible says. I believe the third for many reasons.

I will defend what the Bible says and have a high view of Scripture (although I know that term may sound arrogant) without apology.

When I strongly disagree with others, I may say it’s because of unbelief if I think that’s the case but I won’t make the judgment that they are not a Christian if they’re a brother or sister in Christ because of secondary issues and I will not put negative labels on them. It saddens me that this seems to be the norm in some areas of the biblioblogosphere.

I’m certainly not perfect in this area and I still need to work on being more gentle and kind. But if you could have seen what a hothead I was 10 years ago, or even 3 years ago…

Just wanted to get that off my chest.

Be a Kinder Calvinist

Be a Kinder Calvinist by Abraham Piper

Snippet:

It won’t be easy to change the pejorative stereotype that clings to Calvinism, but we can start by admitting that it is accurate far too often. Then we can make sure we are manifestly not self-righteous, condescending, arrogant, unfriendly, or argumentative.

As a Calvinist (although I prefer Reformed), this makes me sad:
Return to Calvin: A Personal Reflection on how Calvinism has Lost its Way By Douglas Estes

Snippet:

Calvinism—more so as a culture and an ‘ism’ than a theology—has many problems. In many conversations I have had, it quickly ceases to be anything about glorifying God and becomes a do-or-die landmark (complete with secret password) for the faithful. Why can’t we encourage his theology (one that exhorts people to know God and see him glorified (Calvin’s Catechism of the Church of Geneva)), but reject the partisan fervor often accompanying Calvinist thought? When I read Calvin, I see a man who was terribly committed to God in a very orthodox way. I hear a great depth of desire to know God. But Calvin the man was flawed; he had several strong personality defects (as we all do). It seems to me that while many of Calvin’s followers read the Institutes, they take their cues from Calvin’s personality. They build their landmarks on Calvin’s weaknesses, not his strengths.