My post concerning fasting netted a comment from Chrysalis concerning the uncharitable nature of the brand of Christianity that I most closely identify with.
It has to be confessed that generally speaking, RP's don't have a very good reputation when it comes to charity. Too often what we think is faithful testifying of the truth comes across as clanging cymbals and beating gongs to the recipients.
Human pride is a subtle and dangerous thing, especially when we are confessing the sins of others. The sins we humans commit against one another, especially second table commandment sins, tend to be very obvious to us. If you steal something of mine, or try to lure my husband into an illicit relationship, my offense with you is pretty clear to me. However, if you commit idolatry in your heart, it may not be as obvious to me or you. First table breaches against God are somehow easier to commit in ignorance and blindness because God, in his lovingkindness and tender mercy doesn't strike us immediately we commit them.
And so, where we are able to see these sins in ourselves and others, they need to be repented of and confessed. But, and this is a big but, we had better be sure that we are heaping dust on our heads as we do so and that genuine grief is assailing our hearts over our offenses against the Lord and each other.
Yes, Chrysalis, too often I have been prideful and uncharitable against my brothers and sisters in the Church who are of different beliefs and practices, but truly still God's children. Hence the need to fast and humble myself before God and plead for His mercy and grace and more light to confess my own sins. I also need to learn to exhibit more charity. I have been guilty of thinking myself in the same class as a Martin Luther and thought that this gave me license trample upon bruised reeds and pour water on smoking flaxes. God forgive me. And may those who were the recipients of my misguided zeal forgive me as well.
At the same time, I sincerely pray that I am not seduced by a desire for your approval or the approval of others so that I commit a greater sin and not say what I perceive to be the truth. I am under no illusion that RP's have cornered the market on truth as I write this. All of us will have our theological kinks worked out of us when we finally meet the Master.
God help us.
Submitted with fear and trembling.