I’m looking for some feedback or thoughtful analysis with this post. Your personal experiences may be different than mine, but in the past I’ve encountered superficiality or a lack of honesty/authenticity in Christian small group settings. To give one simple example:
Once in a small group, I shared how I’d been feeling vengeful or vindictive towards someone who had wronged me. The response from the group? The leader looked at me with this dumbfounded expression, and made some nervous joke about not wanting to get on my bad side. The rest of the group was uncomfortable, and seemed shocked that a Christian would express or admit to these things.
So…I guess the other people in the group never felt vengeful or vindictive but just overflowed with forgiveness and love all the time! Yes, I’m being sarcastic. If they say this is the case…they are liars, or just self-deluded or rationalizing or something.
First, have you experienced similar? (I realize not all Christians are like this, and maybe you’ve been part of a truly authentic Christian community.)
Secondly, what’s the problem with some Christians? Why can’t they be honest with themselves and other believers?
1. Some obvious “superficial” answers might be: Maintaining an image (not wanting to look like a Christian failure). Being self deluded – they can’t even see their own sinful proclivities. Fear of judgment instead of support. Any other ideas???
2. But what about “deeper” analysis? What underlying beliefs could lead to self delusion or being more focused on your image than being honest? (Etc) What inaccurate theological beliefs or unbalanced biblical views could cause it? What biblical teachings have been overlooked? Or what secular ideas have had an influence?
Any answers or rambling thoughts much appreciated. Thanks. I ask these questions for a reason – a personal research project of sorts.