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Friday, September 18, 2009

Pet Peeves

Through the years I've discovered that there are little things that bother me that, frankly, shouldn't. But they do. I'm not talking about the things people do or say that are seriously wrong. I'm talking about little things ... or at least little things to me. You know, little things like rotten grammar or poor spelling when it shouldn't be so hard. Usually I overlook it, but when it comes from people that appear to be just too lazy to bother, it bothers me. But there are worse things to me.

I really dislike it when people say things "I really hate it when ..." without actually meaning hate. I prefer it when people reserve the right words for these things. But we throw around words like "love" and "hate" and "good" and "evil" without really considering them. Is the thing of which you speak really that good/bad/right/wrong/wonderful/horrible? Or not?

It irks me when Christians defend their positions from the Bible. No, no, that's not right. Not at all. But two Christians will be discussing differing opinions on a topic, both deriving their view from Scripture, and one will say, "Well, Luther said ..." and the other will trump them with, "Well, I get my idea from the Bible." The suggestion is, "You don't." The implication is, "My view is the only right view because (apparently) I can't be wrong in my interpretation ... and since you are using other sources, I'll assume you're not using the Bible." When Christians discuss differing views of Scripture, can't we just admit that we're both talking about Scripture and drop this failed trump as if the other isn't using the Bible? A hint to Calvinists and Arminians, Presbyterians and Baptists, pre-millenialists and amillenialists, paedobaptists and credobaptists: both sides will be using Scripture. Show a little charity, okay?

A close relative is "The Lord showed me the meaning of that passage ...". I see. You have a special connection with God that I don't. And usually "the Lord" shows these people meanings of passages that no one has ever seen before. Really? You have that special a connection? Don't go there.

Of course, it really bugs me when people cannot discuss ideas with charity. At some point, it seems, it becomes personal. This one may comment negatively on a pet concern of that one and suddenly we're no longer discussing those ideas; we're discussing me. "Are you calling me stupid?" Or something like it. Even if it doesn't get said. There are triggers for all of us, it seems. Just mention the word "socialism" and I'll get angry responses from all directions (not necessarily aimed at me ... just angry). Just drop a word like "abortion" or suggest "homosexual behavior is sin" and people will be coming out of the woodwork not to argue the point, but to fight ... and from both directions. Can't we discuss ideas without getting personal? "I think that some of President Obama's plans are wrong" could very likely get a response of "racist!". Really?

But, then, maybe I'm just too sensitive. I tend to view most things with a bit of humor. Maybe I should practice more of that.

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