When we set out to judge another publicly, particularly with carefully articulated insult and disparagement, we set ourselves above the weakness, childishness, foolishness, or even meanness of those we criticize. We stand on the side of those Jesus excoriates the most: THE PHARISEES.
They were the elitists whose sin was self-righteousness, thinking more highly of themselves than they ought to think. Those who love me try to preserve me from such pride. Yet I know that is an arena of my own sin.
In a tumultuous political week, there are many yearning to analyze publicly the personality and mental health of our President. Something the American Psychological Society is trying desperately to keep its members from doing. On the grounds that it is unfair to publicly analyze someone whom you have not privately and personally analyzed - with permission.
David Brooks, honored as a New York Times commentator, and author of a book on character, has published on May 16, 2017, an article titled, "When a Child is Leading the World." He brings insult and analogy to bear in identifying the President of the United States as a dangerous child running loose as an empty, arrogant person already beyond any control.
It is as if David Brooks wants to be among the first to warn the nation--and the world--of this rising, reckless threat to us all. He is already psychologically analyzing the President.
I do not like boorishness, or boasting, or lying, or self-aggrandizement. I have chosen, praise God, a way of life and service that demands humility to be in any way successful.
But, I know from Biblical and world history that God chooses and works through sinful people. I know God "holds the whole world in His hands." I know God loves His world, and His children. I am one of them. David Brooks is one of them. Donald Trump is one of them.
Part of what is happening in our over-turned world, I sense, is that God is confronting an elitist self-righteousness which we have allowed to flourish in our land. We call it, "political correctness." It has wormed its way into our thinking, our speech, our view of ourselves and others. Many have felt intimidated and put down by it.
It has replaced the "one clear call" of Biblical faith to the "devout and holy life." It has blurred the call and claim to love - above all else. It has blunted compassion. It has celebrated self-centeredness. It has spawned the sense of a "me generation." It has made the idea of personal choice sacrosanct above all other ethics. It has obliterated the Christ call to "take up our cross" and follow Jesus in giving our lives away.
Our spirit, more than ever, needs to be bent toward forgiveness, that only can lead toward reconciliation within this land we love.
Insult and outrage over a decision made by America's people through a constitutional process we have lived by for two centuries is leading us toward dark negativities in our public life. Humble acceptance, and a hope built on faith, leads toward the light.
As someone who was sent by over-wrought parishioners to a psychiatrist because of my embrace of the Holy Spirit, I am sensitive to how easily a gang spirit of control can arise in well-meaning, even loving human communities.
It is a time for care. And prayer. And forgiveness. And for seeing the best in others.
Why should we not be leaders in that endeavor?
Arthur A Rouner, Jr -
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ARTHUR ROUNER MINISTRIES