I think at times we tend to hold people in a constantly precarious position, so that if they fall even slightly in any direction, we crush them with a label and rush for the exit and burn every bridge and ramp and highway. It’s like we deliberately keep everyone off-balance so that they’re never really in and good with us, unless they do exactly as I want.
It’s sort of a desperate anxiety in relationships, where if the guy or girl says one stupid thing: it’s over.
It’s the fear of trying to say all the right things or you’ll die.
It’s waiting for someone to fail so you can confirm your preconceived presumption.
It’s instantly dividing over a single disagreement, even over a simple sentence or opinion.
It happens everywhere, especially in the “church community.” We tend to analyze the particulars of everyone’s faith. Any wrong theology will get you killed. Secondary doctrines become primary battlefronts. The preacher is graded by his rightness of speech instead of his character (when both are needed). Even “not being gracious” is sort of a new legalism, where if you don’t tolerate everything, you’re a bigot. And if you’re neither a cool hipster liberally progressive Jesus-follower or a conservative button-up soapbox picketer, then you’re apparently not a Christian either.
I would think that knowing Jesus would make us more gracious, and not less. But even “faith” has a way of making us jerks, because we so anxiously cling to any dividing line and stab our flags into each others’ sides.
This sort of thin ice will —