Rants, Musings, and Mental Meanderings of a former Conservative Christian Mother. Standing Strong against ignorance, preconceptions, labels and excessive housework. Celebrating original thought, religious freedom, parenthood, free enterprise and chocolate.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Compensation Theology

I have really gotten a kick lately out of what I call "compensation theology." It's hard to explain, but I'll do my best. People will adopt this weird, extreme standard or conviction, and in doing so they feel they are spiritual enough justify sins in other areas of their life. For example, they will rant about a woman wearing blue jeans, and claim you're not even saved if you don't show up for Sunday School. However, then they get into their car and blare this crazy rock music or take the Lord's name in vain every other sentence. Huh?!?!? This confuses me. I am not saying that we all don't have different convictions, or that we should nit-pick people trying to do right and watch for them to slip up. We do, and in fact, we should, have different standards. I am simply talking about those people who go to the extreme, claiming some special inside-track to God. I know a guy from a former church who really thinks he has this special gift from God. He has prophetic visions, is a powerful public speaker, has had more para-normal experiences than an entire season of X-files, but at the end of the day is one of the most arrogant jerks you'll ever meet. He rails against women wearing pants, but you go to his home and his teen aged sons are drooling over chics gyrating around in very decent (yeah, right) costumes on American Idol. Am I condemning him for watching American Idol? I couldn't care less. (In fact, I even watched two seasons of it, until the talent dried up and it was just too boring to endure.) I am simply pointing out that he feels he is above rest of us, so those things are okay for him to do. He even claims that if you do not wish to attend Sunday School, you can't possibly be saved... but good luck finding him in church on Sunday night, let alone Wednesday night. Again, huh?!?! Before you give me a lecture on being judgmental of this guy, let me get to my point. No one takes this guy seriously because of the fact he is so proud of the few convictions he does have and likes to lord them over others. Any influence he could have had, he throws away because he practices compensation theology. As long as he adheres to a few really extreme convictions, he considers himself holy enough to allow himself the other indulgences. Be very, very careful before you announce to others what God's priorities are. Be very, very careful before you declare that your set of standards puts you in better standing with God than someone else's. What may cause you to sin may not even be an issue for someone else, and a good hearty dose of humility is what most of us need. I call it the "spiritual glass ceiling" when a person or church gives their list of add-ons. If you don't adopt their standards in addition to what is clearly defined in Scripture, you are never taken seriously spiritually at best, and branded a rebel and shunned at worst. Unfortunately, while they are obsessing about these issues that are not even Heaven or Hell issues, they often can't see the forest for the trees. They miss the truly damaging sins in their midst, because they are so distracted by focusing on the nonsense. But if you were to warn them about the issues that are truly threatening their families and children, they look at you blankly. They are far too holy to even consider that happening. Sorry, but the longest skirts on your gals and the smoothest shaved faces on the guys won't compensate for a humble heart tender to God's leading... and it won't produce it in your children either.

1 comment:

Sissy said...

I completely agree with you on this thing. i have people get mad at me at church because I have said that if Ally has a rebellous sprirt I will not force her to were a skirt or what ever because It really has nothing to do with the outside... It's what on the inside that truly matters and what is on the inside is what is going to come out on the outside anyway. I think people forget that chapter where Jesus is talking to the pharasees about this same topic.