Friday, June 20, 2014

A Few Honest Thoughts and A Heartfelt Apology

To anyone who has ever read a Facebook post or a blog post from me.  I have some concerns.  I want to share a few experiences generally, and try to help be clear about who I am and what I am about in case anyone has concerns.  

I have had some share that they felt there were times that I posted too heavily in general on Facebook.  I will agree. Though like many, I am sometimes limited to when I can be on, so I post more when I am on. Nevertheless, I am have been trying to allow this observation to influence how much I share publicly on FB.

On a deeper level, I have experienced at least one person stating that they would not be following me any longer but that they would remain my FB friend so they could check in on pics etc. from time to time.  I respect their honesty and willingness to be upfront with me.  It did happen however because of differences in conviction regarding biblical truth.  I must admit, it makes me curious how many others may have done the same.

Now, I know that the aforementioned person stopped following me because some of my convictions offended them.  In recent weeks I have gotten the feeling that I have offended a few more.  I do not know that they have ceased to follow me but we certainly disagreed on some things.  It was not all unpleasant but I have been thinking about it lately.  Sometimes offense is unavoidable, but I do not want it to happen unnecessarily.

Another person very respectfully contacted me via FB messenger to express concerns regarding my blog content and ask some clarifying questions.  That was actually a very fruitful conversation that cleared some things up and helped the person better understand where I am coming from in some respects.  If you are reading this, thank you for giving me that chance.

For the record, I do not enjoy confrontation anymore than the next person.  I am afraid that some may think that I do.  It is no secret that I consider the internet to be an opportunity to witness to the virtual community as much as possible.  I realize that some may not care for that.  It is also no secret that, like everyone else, I have opinions that are heart felt and that I am not opposed to sharing with anyone who will listen.  But, while I do not get my identity or sense of self-worth from blogging or FB, let's be clear, I do not want to alienate anyone either.  One of the reasons I blog and post on FB is to hopefully influence people toward biblical truth.

Everything that I blog or post about is not controversial or inflammatory but those are certainly the topics that tend to get the most attention.  If the subject matter seems dicey or personal then it seems like people gravitate toward it.  But I never use those types of topics to try to get attention or get readers.  Nor do I want to loose readers with those topics.

At the same time, I realize that no matter how hard I may try to soften a message, biblical truth can be offensive.  Whether the topic is abortion, heaven, hell, homosexuality, or the health and wealth preachers and teaching, I know there will be those who do not like my opinion and will likely be offended.  However, I cannot, in good conscience, avoid topics or compromise truth in order to avoid conflict.  Whether in my blog or on posts that I share on Facebook, I must present the truth as lovingly as possible.

It will not be perfect, but it is in those moments that the question must be asked, "From where is the truth coming?"  Is it coming from Josh or is he simply striving to convey truth that is found in scripture.

I'm Not Perfect and Nobody Knows That Better Than Me
I can be impatient, temperamental, and not so "righteously" indignant sometimes.  Although, I promise you, no reader will see that the way that my family does.  Let's face it, unless you are on reality TV, nobody shows all their colors except for those who love them most.  I don't justify any of these unsavory aspects of my personality.  My goal is to be humble yet honest, loving yet challenging.  

My hope is that in all of this you will see, as I bring challenges and speak to the application of truth in difficult situations, that I fully understand my place in this world.  I am a sinner saved by grace as well.  I am no better than anyone else.  It is by grace that I have been saved through faith, and this not of myself, lest I should be able to boast(Ephesians 2:8-9).  Most of the time, I need what I am delivering as much as the next person. I am generally preaching to myself as much as anyone else.

Yes, I feel compelled to speak uncompromising truth and to bring challenges to any justification of sin or bad doctrine.  I cannot remain silent because I am concerned for the spiritual well being of those who may be led astray by such lies.  If someone's house is on fire, sometimes the most loving thing you can do is to scream at them to get out of there.  However, a challenging tone, in no way, speaks to the humility that I feel in bringing a given challenge.  Nor does it speak to the love with which I wish to convey the message.

Finally, The Apology
With all that said, I know there will be some that feel like I never needed to write such a post.  That if people don't like what I have to say, tough.  Or, that I am somehow undermining myself by putting all these personal thoughts out there. Then there may be those who see all that I have said as nothing more than a justification for more of the same.  And some probably just don't care one way or the other, and that's ok.  I pray that I have come across as a genuine human being that wants to positively impact other human beings for the glory of God.

Regardless of what anyone may think of me, I would like to say that I am sorry for anytime that I have come off as harsh or rude.  While I cannot apologize for the truth that is in God's word, I am responsible for conveying that truth in as loving a way as possible.  In truth it has been a tough year in many different ways and it is certainly likely that there are times, try though I might, that I have not exhibited the fruit of the Spirit in my writing as I ought.  Please except my apologies.  If you take nothing more away than this, know that I do not think of myself as better than anyone else.  It is only by the grace of God that I am what I am and that anything I do blesses anyone and brings Him any glory.

The Future
Lord willing I will be able to write a little more consistently in the back half of the year and be more transparent regarding my own challenges and faults as I address different topics.  Hopefully some will encourage you and build you up and others will step on your toes and challenge you to consider whether I have any ground to stand on.  I want you to study for yourself and see if I have lost my mind or actually have a point.

I will be striving to speak to certain topics more from the blog, verses sharing FB posts, so as to be thorough in my thoughts on the matter and hopefully avoid being misunderstood.  Also, for the record, I am open to feedback whether it be critical or encouraging.  I am certainly not beyond correction.  I would love to have an honest, biblically supported dialogue with anyone who has need to express thoughts or concerns.

I know I am just one lowly blogger in the grand worldwide blog-o-sphere.  In the grand scheme of life what I have to say may not bear very much weight.  But, since I send my thoughts out into a potentially broad audience I want to make every effort to be available to answer a concern if it will negatively impact the gospel of Jesus Christ.

As I said, I have had someone contact me in this way and it seemed to go well.  I want everyone to know that I am just as nice and caring as I hopefully come across most of the time.  And, while I may be kind of intense in addressing certain concerns, please remember that it is difficult to convey tone in writing sometimes and I don't wish to beat anyone up.  If we find that we cannot agree on something, that is ok.  We just agree to disagree as lovingly as possible.

If you read all the way to the end of this, thank you for your time and I hope you will come back and visit.

Thanks to everyone who has ever taken the time to read this blog and for tolerating another windbag on the internet ;-).



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