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Re: [IPr] Opps!

On 9 Aug 00, at 14:58, Ginny Kloth wrote:

> No this list is not for debates. It is to share how diabetes affects the
> spiritual part of us. But it does not exist for debates. There are plenty
> of list for debates. debates leads to flames and will bring this list to
> nothing but a big fight. Debates do not belong on here. So please no debates.
> Ginny

We are left in a quandry... And we have a few options... Either we all
agree with the lowest common denominator (and thus end the reason for
this list and all public discussion since we'd all be clones without
an original thought) or we are threatened with censorship... and the
problem there becomes who is the censor. I've been on moderated lists
(censored is a better word) where the admins approve every posting before
anyone else can see them and then wonder why after an initial post from
the control freak admins and a rousing chorus of "me too" followed by
a note from the censors that "me too" messages are not legal the lists
tend to evaporate into vapid nothingness...

The problem is that one person's debate is another person's calm
discussion. When someone says they want no debates it raises a red
flag to me that says that that person wants no opinions or
experiences that don't correlate perfectly with their views and experiences...

There are some on the list who have expressed ideas that I don't agree
with, and others who have expressed ideas that I think are worthy of
being called toxic waste. There are some who by their belief system
seemingly attempt to negate everything that I believe in and stand for...
and for us to express our basic disagreement should be OK, as long as
we each respect the other person's right to be wrong... You can have
no free exchange of ideas without some disagreement.

Many things come together to make us the people that we are - and
to try to separate spirituality from theology and religious faith
and practice is essentially to say that some nebulous high-sounding
concepts are ok as long as they are politically correct but if anyone
actually believes something then they will be eliminated.

At the risk of arousing the censor's ire, I'll give an example. As
a conservative Baptist (some even call me a fundamentalist, but that's
debatable) one of the key doctrines that I believe in one that we call
"soul competency" - in simple terms that means that each individual
stands before God responsible for their own actions, their own faith
and how they have lived. Baptists at the time of the revolutionary
war and the drafting of the constitution phrased it in a way that
sounded something like "we believe in the right of every individual
to practice the religion of their choice or even to practice no
religion at all". I believe that the Bible teaches this principle
and so I attempt to remember it whenever I am tempted to engage in
a conversation that would degenerate into an "is not"/"is so" exchange.

What this means in practice is simple - because of my faith, my
theology and my practice of my relationship with God I am bound
by a few simple ideas - and one of the important ones is a direct
quote from the Bible, New Testament, Matthew 5:22 "But anyone who
says 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell". This is
in the context of a discussion of murder, anger and human relationships,
and the idea is that if I have that kind of disrepect for others as to
dismiss them as beneath consideration (a better translation might
be 'You empty, dull, stupid') and worthy of contempt, then I'm probably
in more trouble than they are.

We as people with diabetes are often in the company of people who we
could (and often do) classify as stupid because of the way they treat us.
We each have felt the stupifying effects of a bg too low or too high. And
each of us has probably felt a sense of anger at the universe, kismet,
fate, God, our parents or the great pumpkin for the times of difficulty
and outright anguish we have faced. And these events have been important
parts of our spiritual formation and development, whether we are aware
of it or not. The key is how we react to them - by railing at each other
or by sharing and learning from each other.

I remember one Sunday morning when one of the members of
my church raised her hand during the sermon and got my attention - and
proceeded to ask me if I needed something to eat because I was getting
pale and starting to look like I was having problems getting my thoughts
together as I spoke. I checked and my bg was in the 40's - so I ate a
couple of sugar tablets and continued... Now in that story I mentioned
a lot of things that some people might have found offensive, from the
mention of church itself on one extreme to the fact that a woman
interrupted my sermon on the other... I wonder which point the censor
would be coming from to critique this? But the real point of the story
is that it caused me to seriously question my calling to be pastor of
that church. Several friends in that church and outside of the church
prayed with me, encouraged me and supported me and I ended up staying
there another year and a half... But it was a spiritual crisis
precipitated by a diabetic event and thus should be legitimate
fodder for this list.

I've studied spiritual formation for years. I've been mentored and
I have mentored. I've been castigated and I've been filled with
righteous indignation... I've had bg's crash at the worst of times
and spike at the most unexpected times... I've come to understand what Job meant
when he said "May the day of my birth perish, and the night it was said, `A boy
is born!' That day--may it turn to darkness; may God above not care about it; may
no light shine upon it. May darkness and deep shadow* claim it once more; may a
cloud settle over it; may blackness overwhelm its light. That night--may thick
darkness seize it; may it not be included among the days of the year nor be
entered in any of the months. May that night be barren; may no shout of joy be
heard in it." I have also come to appreciate and understand what the Psalmist
was talking about when he said "You have filled my heart with greater joy
than when their grain and new wine abound. I will lie down and sleep in
peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety."

I'm sure that many of you on this list have also had insights into these
things, even if you do come from way out in the strange field for your
spiritual experiences (very, very big grin on that one!) The key is for each
of us to not attempt to force someone else into our mold. No matter how
weird a person may be, chances are that we can learn from them. Our
greatest contribution to each other is to listen, think, and respond in a
way that we would like to be responded to if our positions were reversed.

Oh well, I've said enough I'll probably get flamed off the list by the censors... so as you see my ashes drift slowly past your screen remember
to speak with respect to others, no matter how much they really, really need a swift kick in the rear... because it's at that exact moment when we raise our foot up to kick our neighbor that we are off balance enough that we
ourselves may be kicked to the floor. Free exchange of ideas, compassionate listening, and cooperative exploration... if these things continue long enough you'll all come around to my point of view <VBG>...

Rev. Randall Winchester
WD4HVA (email @ redacted)
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