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Slippery Slope Lesson Two: Christian Fellowship
February 6th, 2007 under ChristianWalk, SlipperySlope. [ Comments: none ]

OK. So you guessed I really haven’t had a Christian friend who has really been honest about my weaknesses. Guess there aren’t any. Or is it that I can’t get close enough to someone for them to feel comfortable critiquing me. Or maybe I’m just so intimidating… 

Anyway. Christian fellowship in the form of Sunday School or Bible Study has been profitable for me in the past. Issues can be raised and challenges can be made without being to in-your-face. I’ve never found a Sunday School class that I can be totally honest in, but I think that’s overrated anyway. However, much of my Christian growth can be attributed to the lessons learned in these groups. 

Just make sure that you avoid two types of classes. The worst—every week the leader finds some way to condemn homosexuals or complain about God being taken out of the public schools. Unfortunately, these classes may also condemn alcohol consumption or Mardi Gras parades! 

The other type of class is the one where no one wants to offend anyone. The purpose of this type of group is to either gather to discuss football or eat King Cake or some other non-spiritual topic. Discussing or identifying sin is really too disturbing. 

The best groups can be challenging and supportive. They can help persons to grow in their faith and become involved in ministry. We live in such an individualistic society that we often forget that we were created to encourage and support each other. I’m currently trying to find one of these groups because I know I can be enriched by the fellowship.


Scaling the Slippery Slope
February 6th, 2007 under SlipperySlope. [ Comments: none ]

OK. I admit it. There’s something to that “slippery slope” argument that Fundamentalists warn everybody about. I guess I’ve officially slipped. However, as a friend of mine pointed out, “Once you see, you can’t unsee.”

I can never go back to the Pharisaical judgmental life I lived pre-slope slip, but I do want to get my Jesus groove back. I’ll be sharing the lessons I learn along the way and hopefully will get where I need to be. 

Lesson One: Cultivate Friends Who Will Offer Honest Feedback

I’ve had many friends along the way that have been able and willing to look me in the face and say, “Howie, you’re being a _____________. You need to ____________.”

This has been most helpful in my spiritual growth. These jerks have sometimes ticked me off, but they have enlightened me about my weaknesses and character faults. Yeah, I miss them sometimes, and they usually say the same things as my other former friends have said, but at least I know areas in which I need improvement.

Not all of these relationships have been the same. Some have been more like mentors until I found faults with them that disqualified them from being role-models or mentors. Others were more like employers. However, their advice is usually so biased against me and they try to use their position to control me so I end up having to “move on.” Some have been true friends whose smirks, eye-rolling, and confrontations became too much for my Christian patience to bear. Also some people can dish dish dish, but THEY can’t take any constructive criticism!

Thus, my advice is to seek Godly persons whom you respect to help you become more Christ-like. It’s not really worked that well for me, but I’m sure it can help transform you into a humble, God-fearing Christian.


 


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