tirsdag 19. juli 2016

Fanaticism and pragmatism

It is very interesting that Paul relatively shortly after the Church Council in Jerusalem shows that he was far from fanatical with regard to his position on certain issues.He verbalised his opinion clearly at the Council: Gentiles do not need not follow the Jewish law! 

But he chose a pragmatic solution when he decided to invite Timothy to be a part of the mission team:

Paul wanted to take him along on the journey, so he circumcised him because of the Jews who lived in that area, for they all knew that his father was a Greek.
Acts 16: 3
Pragmatism in relation to questions of secondary importance, characterizes a number of the personalities who have influenced the history of the church. Paul led the way. It does not mean that he was unclear or that he compromised in matters of vital importance.

The same can be said about William Booth. As for Paul, it was the salvation of men that was most important to him. To reach that goal, he gladly made compromises in relation to matters that were important to believers from other churches

Although there are good theological reasons for the Salvation Army’s position of non-observance of the sacraments as physical rituals, the decision was also pragmatic. Booth did not want to lose his "best men" (= women) as officers in his army because of a ritual. In the Victorian world it was a revolution that his women were accepted as preachers - to accept that they also could distribute communion, was still premature. When William Booth had to make a choice, he chose women.  He viewed all as ‘one in Christ’. In Christ there is not man and woman, Jew or Greek, slave or free (1).

For me this is an example of pragmatism for the sake of reaching the more important goals, of which the salvation of souls is the greatest!

'Manna' for today:

I need the wisdom of the Holy Spirit to know when to be pragmatic and when to be uncompromising.
(1) See Gal 3:28

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