Tuesday, August 17, 2010

What's So Wrong With Being Wrong?

There on fourth street in Keene, Texas lived my Aunt Lila Beth Creel. If you lived for anytime in Keene and went to public school you knew her. On Sabbath afternoons, after potluck at her old, old house (now torn down for the Hopps development) the Hopps men--Herbert, Cecil, Jim, John, Frankie and the cousin Frys--David, Ed and Kenneth would congregate in her living room and discuss politics and religion. When all the kids my age and younger were out playing, I would be sitting on Lila Beth's swiveling dark stained piano stool--listening. I loved, couldn't wait for, family gatherings because I would sit there like Sponge Bob absorbing all the different perspectives and arguments.

Occasionally the little skinny and only girl in the corner (me) would pipe up and say something--usually to the great irritation of the men--and I would immediately be shut down, exposing my youth and ignorance. I was wrong and needed to shut up and listen to wisdom and knowledge.

Through the years, if they would have ever noticed and I doubt they did, I grew up listening, listening and calculating and examining their arguments, learning how to check for possible weaknesses in their points. And more I would venture to add my own comments--the older teenager in the corner (now my feet could touch the floor sitting on the old swivel chair). My siblings and cousins long ago giving up on getting me to come play with them outdoors, now it was the women who wanted me to come help clean up potluck. I helped, but hurried back into the discussion room (usually men-only) as fast as I could in case I missed some brilliant point.

What I learned is that ideas thrown out for public exposure get shot down--even if they are right. But the greatest thing is that they are easily shot down when they are WRONG! As embarrassing as it is to have your ideas and thoughts ridiculed, it still helps you to see the errors of your thinking. It is never fun to be wrong, but what a thrill to be set on the right track!

For a time I was sent off to an SDA boarding school-- Valley Grande Academy near the Mexico border. There were some girls there who were very vocal about their dislike of me. They called me stuck up. I became incredibly defensive and then I thought about Aunt Lila Beth's house. Whether or not the idea was hurtful, the more important point for me to focus on was whether the criticism was right! If I examined it objectively and change where I needed to change, I had turned what the girl meant for harm and insult into a great advantage and positive effect in my life.

Being wrong isn't the worst thing in the world--embarrassing, humiliating, maybe even heartbreaking and horrifying at times, but the worst thing would be to continue to be wrong when you could have been right.

On my blogs and facebook, we get into a lot of discussions about politics and religion. There are some people out there who are mortified by disagreement, by exposing someone's faulty thinking or hurting their feelings. To me it is enlightening, I feel I am back, sitting on my corner piano stool listening in and learning--but this time to a whole new set of thinkers. I throw out my opinions like skeet and watch how people try to shoot them down. Some hit the target and I have learned from the experience. I am wrong--so what? Now I can walk away from my "wrongness" and figure out what is right. The person has HELPED me!!

I naively assume others are like myself--my husband constantly telling me I am wrong again! Very few people, he assures me, actually want to know if they are wrong. Most people only want to snuggle up to those who agree with them and live peacefully in error-land, never looking under rocks or past the foggy illusions of their beliefs. They live in a type of smothered fear, learning precisely which stones to step on in their way, for to try any new stone, to look up in any new direction would mean having to admit they were wrong.

I say bahumbug! Be wrong! It only hurts for a minute. So what? Who are we to protect our little precious opinions and guard the gates of our prejudices! Open wide the windows of your mind and let in a little sunlight and salty sea air. You may cough a few times, but its okay! We all survive wrongness and the embarrassment that accompanies it. It just proves to ourselves that we are not God.


Anonymous said...

To know the truth one must as the Lord and He will lead to what is the truth...THINK PLEASE!!!

I just wanted you to consider this from the COUNCIL OF LAODICEA...SDA did not write or print this but the Catholic as it is from their books.."What's So Wrong With Being Wrong?"..You are so right!!!Please read below and check it out yourself...bless!!!!

Council of Laodicea
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaJump to: navigation, search
The Council of Laodicea was a regional synod of approximately thirty clerics from Asia Minor, that assembled about 363-364 A.D. in Laodicea, Phrygia Pacatiana.

Contents [hide]
1 Historical context
2 Major concerns
3 Biblical Canon
4 External links
5 References

[edit] Historical context
The council took place soon after the conclusion of the war between the Roman Empire and the Persian Empire, waged by Emperor Julian. Julian, the last Constantinian emperor, attempted a revival of paganism and resumed discrimination of Christians. After his death in battle on June 26, 363, officers of the army elected the Christian Jovian as his successor, who in his precarious position far from supplies ended the war with Persia unfavorably for Rome. He was soon succeeded by Valentinian I, who named his brother Valens Emperor of the East.

[edit] Major concerns
The major concerns of the Council involved constricting the conduct of church members. The Council expressed its decrees in the form of written rules or canons. Among the sixty canons decreed, several aimed at:

Maintaining order among bishops, clerics and laypeople (canons 3-5, 11-13, 21-27, 40-44, 56-57)
Enforcing modest behaviour of clerics and laypeople (4, 27, 30, 36, 53-55)
Regulating approach to heretics (canons 6-10, 31-34, 37), Jews (canons 16, 37-38) and pagans (canon 39)
Outlawing the keeping of the sabbath and encouraging rest on Sunday (the Lord's Day) (canon 29)
Outlining liturgical practices (canons 14-20, 21-23, 25, 28, 58-59)
Restrictions during Lent (canons 45, 49-52)
Admission and instruction of catechumens and neophytes (canons 45-48)
Specifying the Biblical canon (canons 59-60)

Teresa Beem said...

The Council of Laodicea was a regional council and its authority was only for that region. Local councils make local laws for the church. Just like today we have local laws but they do not speak for the entire U.S., this was the case with this situation.

There were places in which bishops felt judaizers were infiltrating the church and encouraging the members to return to the Mosaic law. Evidently this was a problem and this particular area decided to create a canon against people resting on Sabbath. However, they were ALWAYS allowed to attend worship services on Saturday.

This was NOT about changing the sabbath to Sunday, it was about dealing with the heresy of the Judaizers. Hope that helps clear things up. The Catholic church did NOT change "sabbath" to Sunday. This was a local law--not for the entire church.

Juan Carlos Anglada said...

Samuele Bacchiocchi, the Seventh-day Adventist's top scholar wrote in an E-mail message to the "Free Catholic Mailing List" on 8 Feb 1997 and said:

"I differ from Ellen White, for example, on the origin of Sunday. She teaches that in the first centuries all Christians observed the Sabbath and it was largely through the efforts of Constantine that Sundaykeeping was adopted by many Christians in the fourth century. My research shows otherwise. If you read my essay HOW DID SUNDAYKEEPING BEGIN? which summarizes my dissertation, you will notice that I place the origin of Sundaykeeping by the time of the Emperor Hadrian, in A. D. 135"

Teresa Beem said...

I read Bacchiocchi's books about the change of the sabbath. He gets history correct, he just gets the "interpretation" of history wrong.

Yeah, thanks Juan. There are many SDA pastors out there who are in great distress knowing that the history they were taught is wrong and the facts they got correct were skewed.

The Apostles and their successors went to church and worshipped everyday. Sunday was special because it was the resurrection day. The early church did NOT see worshipping on Sunday as a replacement for the Sabbath. That idea would only become ubiquitous many centuries later.