Friday, November 28, 2008

Do as I say, not as I do!

"Do as I say, not as I do" is often viewed as the highest level of hypocrisy. And, if that phrase is descriptive of morality, where the speaker acts in an unjust manner - that is indeed hypocrisy.

However, when it comes to giving advice - aren't there many times when we might advise people to do things that aren't the way we would do them? I think that there ought to be. When talking to other people, I must remember that they have a different circumstance and different talents than I myself do - and thus there are different ways in which they can use their Christian freedom.

Now - before this sets off all the Post-modern warning bells, I'm not talking about morality, I'm not talking about situational ethics - rather this. Different people in different offices have different responsibilities an thus different opportunities. If someone says, "I've been offered a job that pays $15K a year more, should I take it" - that discussion would probably be different for a salesman and for a fellow pastor - or for me myself! It might be good, right, and salutary for you to buy a boat, and I might even encourage you in doing so if you had the opportunity, but I never would. . . cause I don't really like boating.

Politically I like to say that defending freedom means defending people's rights to do that which you never would. As regards Christian Freedom, people are at liberty to do things which you personally wouldn't do -- and it might be a good thing for them to do it.

Sometimes the temptation for Pastors can be to tell people to be as they are. We might wish that all people were as we are. . . but they aren't. And that is neither good nor bad - but sometimes like Paul in Corinthians, we give advice to people are are gonna do things that they are free to do that we wouldn't.

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