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A verse that I have adopted as my “life verse” is Galatians 6:10.  “As we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”  Here is some context though of the full passage and a similar piece from 2 Thessalonians.  

[6] Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches. [7] Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. [8] For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. [9] And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. [10] So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

(Galatians 6:6-10 ESV)

[10] For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. [11] For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. [12] Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.

[13] As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good. [14] If anyone does not obey what we say in this letter, take note of that person, and have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed. [15] Do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.

(2 Thessalonians 3:10-15 ESV)

The gist of these passages are clear.  We are to do good.  We are to work.  And doing good IS work.  We should especially do/be good to our fellow Christians.  And we are not to give up doing to.  We need to persevere and not give up because our actions will reap results.  For better or worse, our actions will result in consequences.

Here is how this applies to us on Theologica.  Our About Page is full of links telling us to behave and lots of links to how that looks.  These articles have been written by both moderators and members on both sides of just about any major debate we’ve had here.  It boils down to treating topics fairly, in an honest objective manner, and treating each other with gentleness and respect.  And, as time has gone on, I think we have “grown weary” in that well doing.  And, Biblically speaking, it is a pretty minimal threshold.  1 John 3:16 would even have us die for each other.  And, based on how many of us talk to each other here (and refer to each other elsewhere), we couldn’t even be convicted of liking each other.  How are we going to die for someone when we secretly believe they are too dumb or to sensitive or too immature to even be allowed to comment?

There have been conversation both here and elsewhere recently along the line of “what happened to Theologica”.  People has asked how to get “it” back.  Lots of things and even a few people have been blamed.  But it is more than just one person or one topic.  It’s that we’ve grown weary in well doing and are reaping the kind of disastrous results that destructive attitudes have produced.  We, as a community, have reaped what our past attitudes and actions have sown.  

I’m offering this encouragement to everyone, myself included.  I too have been guilty of thinking that someone I’m conversing with is either ignorant, stupid, or blind.  I too have been guilty of posting things that reflected more passion than objectivity.  So my reminder here is for everyone.  We need to get back to basics.  And, in the light of verses that speak to “the least of these” or giving hospitality to angels unawares, I think it would be good for all of us to realize or remember that we are not God revealing truth to ignorant heathen, but fallible individuals that could very well be speaking with and of someone that could not only be in God’s family, but someone sent by God to teach US something.  

To paraphrase this message, we are to be good, do good, and speak good....especially to our fellow Christians here, and not give up on this work, because our attitudes and the way we treat each other and refer to each other is going to have an outcome.  If you don’t like how that outcome looks, it is never too late to go back and sow the seeds of peace, love, joy, and so forth.

Views: 155

Comment by Jason on January 30, 2012 at 3:42pm


My apologies to you for taking so long to read this and to comment on it.

There's much you say that is true, and I appreciate what you are trying to do.

Indeed the problem belongs to all of us. That's why I've tried in my own way to discuss some of these things with you. It's also why I ask questions: I'm trying hard not to assume things about people and their ideas. I will probably find myself wrong. It's also why I speak plainly, though I hope not harshly.

I think one thing that will be helpful ( and it seems to already be happening) is that we broaden our discussions. You like Genesis and I like inerrancy. Though we shouldn't abandon them, we certainly should discuss other things and leave them out of the other things.

We've all failed in this. It amazed me, back when I started a thread about what I felt we could do, that we wound up telling one another what was wrong with- one another. It seemed that none of us wanted to do that hard job of self-examination.

T. has been a good place to provoke thought. For some of us, it was a place where we thought that it was relatively safe to discuss issues of concern for conservative Evangelicals and moderate Fundamentalists. We found that to be incorrect. We have seen it turn into a battleground where we have to fight for some of the things that are dear to us. That part of T. has provoked thought, too; but it's the thought of "what happened to T?"

What are we to do about that part?

I'm still left confused, because I'm tired of discussions in which I'm told what I believe, or what I've done; though I neither believe it or do it. I back off for a while, but I enjoy T. still, to some degree. I want to be among those doing good. I struggle, however, with straw men and red herrings, and "you're judging me!" responses.  I know them when I see them, because I've done enough of that to others in the past.

Help me out, here. How do we move forward?

One person is listening. I.

Comment by Daniel on January 30, 2012 at 3:57pm

I think the first step is for us to start looking at things objectively and not dismiss them just because we know the other beliefs of a particular source or some of their historic baggage that they are still working to overcome.  Can't count the number of times I have proposed something just to have it dismissed as "you're only saying that because...".  When we don't approach something with an objective and irenic attitude of a student and, instead, do so as a partisan, knowledge doesn't increase.  We just choose sides.  

Comment by Jason on January 30, 2012 at 7:41pm

That approach is actually an ad hominem fallacy that I recently wrote about. They are worthy only as a means of throwing mud. That's why I've tried to not speak in such a way to you or anyone else, though I've much to learn in my interactions with others.

Here are two links on my blog.

Comment by Daniel on January 30, 2012 at 8:12pm

I think logical fallacies are the opposite of an irenic discussion.  Shame we have more of one than the other though.  And, BTW, I added your blog to the list of theology blogs I get delivered in book form every morning. :)

Comment by Jason on January 31, 2012 at 8:37am

Thanks for the follow.


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