Infants Are Wimps

So Saturday, my old naysaying friend reappears at our Bible study. It’s funny – we’ve only had to deal with a surprisingly few people with this particular character trait, but it only takes one to put your world into perspective. It must get tiring to be a one-man rainstorm, but he’s pretty consistent. Again, he’s a nice guy, loves the Lord as much as any Christian I’ve met here, certainly knows more (facts about the) Bible than any of them, and he always seems happy about us and tells me as much.  

The naysaying kind of came to a head, though, on Saturday. In his typical fashion, he requested a private audience. So we stepped away from the crowded areas of the apartment, and he let me know once and for all that, “though the church is young, it already has big problems.” Wow. There’s some insight. By the power of God alone, I was able to pass on the first 326 responses that came to my mind and selected instead, “You’re not kidding. I’m the pastor! Isn’t that scary?” 

But I did elaborate on the fact that his complaint would have been better worded: “BECAUSE the church is young, it has big problems.” What percentage of the average local assembly are brand-new fresh-out-of-the-old-man Christians? Whatever a healthy percentage is, we’re a little past. Even carrots will kill you if you eat too many. There’s, like, two people in our group that were believers six months ago.  But, as I pointed out, his complaints are all about babies. Who looks at an infant and says, “What’s your problem? Haven’t you ever heard of a toilet? You have opposable thumbs for a reason!”  

Turns out, J., a guy that I really love from our Bible study, is a classmate of Sn., my naysaying friend. And J. tells Sn. about some time that he got his feelings hurt because he brought a couple random students to the leaders meeting, and two of the girls told him he wasn’t supposed to do that (which he wasn’t!). Of course they shouldn’t have yelled at him, but he shouldn’t have gone and cried about it, either. (J. had already called me about this weeks ago, and I already told him that it was great that he brought people, and I was hardly upset about it) But Sn.’s big error was how he dealt with J.’s complaining. I asked him, “What do you think you should do if a brand-new Christian comes to you and complains about his church?” Isn’t there just a chance the problem is in his life and not with his church? Instead of displaying a good attitude toward spiritual leadership, Sn. gave J. the right and the opportunity to complain. Sn. got apologetic quickly. He’ll never learn because he doesn’t want to.  

I told Sn. – “Man, I know we’ve got problems – and we probably always will – give us some time. Have you ever started a church before? Then I guess you don’t really know what it’s like.” Sheepish laughing. More apologizing. I still wanted to chuck him out a window. The only right he thinks he has to criticize anything come from a bunch of facts he’s crammed into his head. He hasn’t given any of the love, teaching, or discipling that the Bible calls upon him to give. Woe is me! The city’s only Bible college student knows about our Bible study! Almost scarier than the police!

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