Saturday, May 22, 2010

Am I a hypocrite?

There was some discussion of a minor issue in a bible passage at housegroup on Thursday. Doesn't really matter what the passage or issue was.

I have my own personal opinions on the subject under discussion, some honest doubts that are really quite technical and not really suitable for the level of discussion we were having in housegroup.

But I also knew the 'orthodox' answer. And so when the discussion started to get messy, I stepped in, quoted the appropriate verses from the appropriate passages and resolved the discussion to the satisfaction of the group.

Thing is, I have some serious issues with the passage I quoted and (along with some proper bible scholars) am reasonably convinced that it is a very late-written passage, written by someone other than the person it claims as author. Basically, I'm not sure that the passage has any right to be included in the canon of scripture. Thus the reasoning I used is (in my opinion) false.

Does that make me a hypocrite?

In my defence, I did it 'for the sake of the weaker brother'. It was the appropriate way to deal with the discussion and it probably helped boost the faith and understanding of some of the group. But I do feel a bit of a hypocrite.

I wonder, do ministers often have this feeling? Presenting the opinion that the congregation needs to hear, even if they personally disagree? If you're a minister reading this, please let me know. Anonymously (or, preferably, pseudonymously) if you like.


Martin said...

I have reached a point, and am fortunate to be in a community where it seems to be OK to not rely on the simple answers. It's definitely a struggle - I have often wondered if we are doing the right thing by the 'weaker brothers', but I have come to the conclusion that we are all weak, all in community together and all deserve the truth - even if that is that there are no easy answers.

At the end of this discussion someone in the group attempted to give a closing wrap-up telling of one of the mostly-biblical stories of our faith and I felt that I had to challenge that rather than leave it as the final word.

None of this is a comment on what you did of course - since you gave no details that would be impossible. Thanks for this and all that you write here - I enjoy the ride!

Anonymous said...

In my defence, I did it 'for the sake of the weaker brother'.

Same old nails different cross.

Do not beat yourself up up with a birch twig. Save a life & don't eat meat for week, your are absolved.