Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Small group bible study members don't always agree

I know I've written here before how much I love my small group bible study.  I do.  I love them all.

I can say I love them all, 'cause I really do love them, but does loving them mean I have to agree with them all the time?  'Cause I don't.  There is one guy in the group that likes to "push back" at me.  I can see we come at many things from opposite ends of the playing field.  A couple weeks ago we had a tiny "back and forth."  I'm not going to call it an argument, but it was kind of like the old schoolyard argument, "Can so," "Can not," "Can so," "Can not," "Can so," "Can not."  Seriously?

The topic of the debate was one of the "hot buttons" debate topics; Are homosexuals born homosexual or is it a preference?  I said that if there was a homosexual gene, we'd have heard about it by now.  There is a lot of scientists looking for it.  No one has found it.  That being said, homosexuality must be a preference.  Of course, this sounds harsh.  We all know people who are unhappy with their sexual orientation and say they wouldn't "choose" this if they, indeed, had a choice.  We all know of the identification, at a young age, of a gay person.  We can say, "Oh yeah, I knew he (or she) was gay when they were little."  I asked this guy's reasoning for saying that homosexuality was genetic and that a person was "born that way."  His answer was, "because."  (the unfortunate "back and forth" came because, in the worst form of my ISTJ personality type, "because" is not an answer)  The true answer was, of course, because someone this gentleman loves is gay.  And he does not want to believe that his friend or relative is "choosing" to be gay.  He wants to believe his friend or relative was born gay, and therefore, God created him this way.  Thus, his friend is not sinning while engaging in the homosexual lifestyle.  I completely understand this.  I do not have a "happy answer" for my bible study friend.  The only answer I have it that there is a spirit of homosexuality.  It's an evil spirit and it is not the spirit of the person it inhabits, but a separate spirit altogether.  Maybe some day I'll write an entire blog post on this concept, but for now I'm just going to leave it at this.

I felt just horrible about this conflict.  My desire is to get along with everyone in the group and not have any disagreement.  I know this is impossible, but there you have it.  When my bible study friend did not show up the following Monday I felt so guilty.  I was convincing myself that I was the cause of his absence.  (and, yes, I do realize that is quite arrogant of me)  However, he did show up last Monday.  I was so glad to see him.  I promised myself I would agree with everything he said.  I wouldn't have a dissenting opinion on anything that came up in conversation this evening.

Oh well, you know what they say about our plan's... I'm sure God had a good laugh at my expense.

The bible study on this Monday evening was Jehovah Rapha, the LORD that heals.  I was doing pretty well at keeping my thoughts to myself, but... then I said this.  I believe that depression is a luxury of the leisure class.  I believe it's a fairly recent malady of our generation.  I believe that in my grandparents generation people couldn't afford to be depressed, they had to work hard to make a living.  My generation and the subsequent generations have enough leisure time to afford their depression.  Now, of course, I wasn't saying there was no such thing as mental illness.  I wasn't saying that there was no such thing as depression.  All I was saying was that it is much more prevalent because we don't work (physically work) hard enough anymore.  We are depressed because we're fat or we're don't have enough money, or our house isn't big enough, etc.  Anyway, my bible study friend took offense at my statement.  He argued that depression was real and what I said had no truth in it.  I did not argue.  I asked him why he thought this.  He said a relative of his had committed suicide because of depression.  There was no way I was going to argue with that.  Of course, not all people complaining of depression commit suicide, but this guy could be right.  Who am I to say anything different. 

Evidently this gentleman makes all his decisions about the world around him by his personal experiences and those of his relative and close friends.  I'm certain I am not a blood relative of this man and the chance of me becoming a close friend is becoming slimmer with each encounter.  I will never be an influence on this guy's world-view.  I'm good with that.


284.  Going out for dinner with a good friend
285.  Getting flowers from my boss on Administrative Assistant's Day
286.  Azaleas beginning to bloom
287.  Dogwood trees in their full glory
288.  My small group bible study members (all of them)
289.  Smiles

4 comments:

  1. Elizabeth StewartApril 24, 2013 at 4:14 PM

    I do think we just have to agree to disagree agreeably at times. It seems to me that the prevalent way to decide right and wrong in our world is by how we feel, not by what the Bible ways. I agree with you on both of the points above, but sad to say, I'm pretty sure we're outnumbered by those who FEEL differently.
    To me there is an abandonment of true logical reasoning...for example, if I legalize gay marriage because I feel people have the right to love who they want to love, so then if a father loves his of legal age daughter, should we let them marry? What about brothers and sisters of legal age? Where will the line be drawn?
    Anyway, we are on a slippery slope once we abandon the plumb line of what the Bible says is right and wrong.

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  2. ha. that is some of the beauty about bible study...exposure to other viewpoints...and as long as they are not scripturally wrong, we respect it...we dont have to believe it...but i def like a good stretching conversation...haha

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  3. Well the number one prescribed class of drug is anti-depressants. That seems abit off eh? Tough conversation, but like Brian Miller says, a stretching one. Stay Happy!

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  4. I got thrown out of book clubs for expressing my opinion, but not Bible study groups.....YET.

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