Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Bible vs My Comfort-Zone, aka Intersections, Part IV

In previous posts I've mentioned how I prayed a prayer recently at church that turned out to be beyond the comfort-zone of some in that church, and expressed that we should welcome those things that are Biblical, even if they challenge our comfort zones.

Ever since the issue was raised by some who were not comfortable with my prayer, I've been praying that those folks would have their eyes opened to this notion that we should give preference to Biblical activities over those which are merely traditional. I've also prayed, alongside that request, that I would have my eyes opened if my blindnesses are causing me to be in error. I didn't think I was in error; didn't even see how I could possibly be in error - after all, my prayer was taken straight out of the New Testament, having been written by Paul, and having been recorded at God's direction. What could be wrong with it?

However, it seems that God has indeed, just this morning, opened my eyes to at least one aspect in which I'm in error.

One of the people I talked to earlier, who was bothered by my prayer, mentioned the possibility of someone laying prostrate in church during a prayer. Not much emphasis was put on the comment, and it didn't really register in my consciousness at the time.

However, this morning, I realized that if someone came in and was asked to lead a prayer, and commenced doing so by first lying prostrate on the ground, my gut reaction would be to think, "Wow, this guy is weird. Is he just doing that for show?"

In other words, I would react toward this guy exactly the way these other brethren of mine reacted toward me. If they have any "guilt" in their reaction, I am just as guilty as they.

Is it wrong for this guy to pray while laying prostrate because it's too weird, while I'm in the right because I'm only a little weird? Or is it wrong for this guy, but right for me, because "I'm right and he's not"? What a hypocrite I turned out to be.

So what is the solution? Should we stick to our traditions and shun those things that challenge our comfort zones, even if they are Biblical? Or should we endeavor to challenge our comfort zones on a regular basis as "exercise" in preparation for when the challenges come, as suggested in my last post? Or what?

At this point, I'm leaning toward accepting those things which are Biblical, even if they challenge our comfort zones. But I definitely need to look to my own eye-located planks before trying to clean out the speck of sawdust in the eyes of my brothers.

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