Monday, October 21, 2013

Out of the Cage

I once heard it said that when a person becomes a Calvinist, he needs to be locked in a cage for a couple of years. This is designed to cure him of being so annoying. Confession time: I could have used some time in a cage after I first embraced the doctrines of grace. Yes, I was kind of a pain. Mercifully, that lasted for only a couple of years. I'm no longer consumed with Calvinism.

It could also be said that when a person becomes convinced of simple church principles he should, like the new Calvinist, be placed in a cage for a few years. As mentioned above, this is to help him get over his new arrogance. It's to keep him from bludgeoning other believers with his new convictions about church. Sad to say, I probably should have been sent to a cage. I cringe a bit over some of what I've written on this blog. Some has been too harsh. Some was foolish.

This is not to say that I no longer hold strongly to simple church principles and practices. I most certainly do. However, going forward I intend to write (and live) in a more positive manner. When it comes to conversations about the church, I hope to listen more and try to convince less. I'm over trying to be an ambassador for simple church. I just want to be an ambassador for Christ.

I think, by the grace of God, that it's finally O.K. for me to come out of the cage.


CTS said...

Eric, A very well timed post for me. I have been going well beyond the limits with my corporate church endorsing friends. And my wife has told me on more than one occasion to tone it down. Your admission and advice will be taken. I will be in my cage if you need me. Neil

Aussie John said...


"I hope to listen more and try to convince less"

Sounds familiar, both personally, and, as the normal condition of mankind,

Spiritual growth is always slow, and often, imperceptible and takes no account of our gnostic pride.

Eric said...


I'm glad this post is encouraging. Frankly, I've been a pit of a pain and I'm sick of it. Moving forward, I want all my words to be full of grace. This does not mean avoiding tough issues, but dealing with them in a different manner.

Eric said...

The tough part is learning how to speak and write about important issues, but doing so with grace. I hope I'm learning.

Ed Healy said...

If you're in a group that views your simple church ideas as alien and (at times) heretical, how do you keep your spirits up?

From experience, I can say that it can... weigh you down. I have a special sort of sadness, realizing that most of my brothers and sisters appear to not even want to consider that things might be closer to God's plan if they were different than 'the way we do things'.

Eric said...


Thanks for your comment. There is a sort of sadness being outside of institutional Christianity. I suppose that's because we all want unity in our church practices. However, the vast majority of believers do not view church in a simple, organic way. My hope is to engage in positive conversations about these issues when given the opportunity. The tough part is that most Christians just don't see any need to change.

Tim A said...

I would like to see an example of something you wrote that you now think is bad. Maybe a couple examples and then write how it should be done.

I had a brother tell me what I had written was judgemental so I asked him to give me the examples I but he has not. I have yet to hear any one give me any specific examples after they give me a negative style feedback.

Eric said...


It's more a general self-assessment than specifics right now. I'd have to go back and look over my posts to see. Most are, in my opinion, fine. There have been a few that I believe are over the line. I'm just trying to be sure that I'm speaking the truth in love when I write.