October 20, 2014

Chapter 9 Lines

Chapter 9  The Gift Nobody Wants: Confrontation

p 169 "Nothing can be more cruel than the leniency which abandons others to their sin.  Nothing can be more compassionate than the severe reprimand which calls another Christian in one's community back from the path of sin." ~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

p 169  This is a foundational paradox about the porcupines in our world; we want to know the truth about ourselves, and we want very much NOT to know the truth about ourselves. We both seek and resist awareness about the reality of who we are.

p 171  We need Truth-Tellers because our capacity to live in denial is astounding.

p 171  Many of us have never invited someone else to be a Truth-Teller in our lives for the same reason we don't get on a scale: we are afraid of what we might find out.

p 172  "One who because of sensitivity and vanity rejects the serious words of another CHristian cannot speak the truth in humility to others. Such a person is afraid of being rejected and feeling hurt by another's words.  Sensitive, irritable people will always become flatterers, and very soon they will come to despise and slander other Christians in their community... When another Christian falls into obvious sin, an admonition is imperative, because God's Word demands it.  The practice of discipline in the community of faith begins with friends who are close to one another. Words of admonition and reproach must be risked." ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer

p 173  We need others to help us live up to our best intentions and deepest values.

p 179  There is a very important theological distinction between being a prophet and being a jerk.  What burns deeply in the heart of a true prophet is not just anger but love.

p 179  Accountability is a tool and a gift we give to one another to try and realize the growth we could never know all by ourselves.

p 180  Let us consider the cost of truth-telling and why it happens so rarely in our world.  the answer, simply, is fear.  It takes enormous courage to be a Truth-Teller.  If we speak painful truth to someone, things get messy.

p 180  Scott Peck says that most of the time we live in what he calls 'pseudo-community'.  It's hallmark is the avoidance of conflict  Pseudo community is agreeable and polite and gentle and stagnant - and ultimately - fatal.

p 181  To go beyond pseudo-community, Peck says, we have to be will to enter into chaos.  Chaos happens when someone is willing to speak risky truth.  Chaos is always unpleasant.

p 181  People who love authentic community always prefer the pain of temporary chaos to the peace of permanent superficiality.

p 183  When we have nobody to answer to - no one holding us accountable for living up to the values we most deeply hold - we become very vulnerable.
   *vulnerable to sin and sliding away from God (my note)