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Humility and teachability
  The previous post has clearly identified one of the great tragedies, not only of TBS/GGWO, but also of the Christian Church as a whole. That is, the tremendous difficulty we human beings seem to have respecting the giftedness and dignity of others, especially when these others represent a challenge to our positions of privilege or our carefully protected egos. Why, oh why are we so frightened by those who differ from us? Why do we feel threatened by them, and why do we so often wish their downfall if not their destruction?

I cannot help but believe that it is because we are so fundamentally insecure. Regardless of how loudly we speak about eternal security with respect to salvation, or unconditional love with respect to God’s nature, an unwillingness to accept or at least tolerate those who differ from us betrays a deep insecurity and sense of being unloved. I believe that the stronger and more impregnable we seek to make our theological and ecclesiological fortresses, the more we evidence our own fear and faithlessness.

What exactly is it that we fear when we become inflexibly doctrinaire? Are we afraid of being wrong? Well of course we are going to be wrong sometimes. What is so dreadful about that? Are we afraid that the TRUTH is on the line and will be corrupted? Isn’t that just absurd? As if we puny and fallible human beings could somehow corrupt that which is eternal and immutable. (Of course we should seek Truth, but God help us if we think we own it.) Or are we simply afraid that people will notice that we are human and therefore, sinful. How liberating it is to confess my sinfulness! How freeing to acknowledge that I have erred! What joy there is in being corrected! When we deny our humanity, our sinfulness, our errors, do we really think we are fooling anyone?

So much potential has been lost to the church over the ages because those in positions of leadership held the mistaken belief that their leadership would be weakened by a frank acknowledgement of their humanity. As I read my Bible, one characteristic of the great leaders of the faith stands out above others. They were all - to a man (or to a woman) flawed people who did not deny their humanity, but let God use it. As far as I can tell, God asks little more of us than this: to be and revel in being at once sinners and saints. Such a posture may yet allow us to both see and appreciate the value of those around us who are graced by God in ways different than ourselves.