How do ministers, pastors, lay preachers handle a hostile congregant after a sermon?

Nancy

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Jesus is our human example. I actually take offense at some of the ways some of his words are portrayed in the Bible....Sometimes he comes across as harsh and even judgemental or without empathy. But I remember that these translations, and retellings are, in themselves, less than perfect. Therefore, I look to actions, intent, and some scholarly (not me! others!) research to uncover the Jesus of radical hospitality and unafraid to change the rules a little. I also pray for some revelations. In the Mary and Martha story, I interpreted his words differently and did not take offense. I interpreted that he was telling Martha that less fuss would be better; hospitality in serving one dish with joy and humility would be better than serving many with stress and worry. And Mary was praised for her form of hospitality -- sitting and listening, showing that listening to another is one way to say: you are important, your message matters to me. Traditionally, we serve a meal to show our hospitality to a house guest. Maybe sitting and spending time with them is the better route to take (order in!). I'm not very theological, and nervous to share my ideas with such learned folk as I find on this site, but I thought I'd go out on a limb here and share my thinking.
 

Mendalla

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Sometimes he comes across as harsh and even judgemental or without empathy.
I never get why this is a problem. If Jesus truly was "fully human" he should have been capable of being all of these things and the text would back me up on that. Otherwise, you're removing that humanity from him. And, yes, (going back to the whole "Jesus was married" thing) he should have been capable of falling in love and experiencing lust, too. Removing these fundamental human qualities from him leaves you with the Jesus that the more traditional versions of Christianity worship, where only lip service is paid to "fully human."
 

Luce NDs

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It is all open to interpretation and impression ... depending upon the impact.

Some closeted social order won't let that enter the communication ... thus hard nut cases as closeted! I am free to think what I thought and not express it ... thus the cloudy side of stoicism ... CS Lewis just referred to it as a ward robe ... John's rough shirt of hemp?
 

PilgrimsProgress

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I call myself a Christian, a follower of the Way of Jesus. I believe that Jesus was wholly human. I also believe in one God – and that Jesus was so attuned to this to God the Spirit of God shone through him. A human being filled with the Spirit – the same spirit that can flow through us uniting us in love with all of creation.
It's so reassuring to know that another has come to the same conclusion as I. Doesn't mean we're correct, but reassuring just the same.......
 

PilgrimsProgress

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Removing these fundamental human qualities from him leaves you with the Jesus that the more traditional versions of Christianity worship, where only lip service is paid to "fully human."
Exactly!.......
The only perfect human on WC2 is chansen - and he's an atheist. :cool:
 

PilgrimsProgress

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I'm not very theological, and nervous to share my ideas with such learned folk as I find on this site, but I thought I'd go out on a limb here and share my thinking.
I welcome your thinking. Faith is a journey and we are pilgrims on the way..........

It's interesting how many struggle with the idea of the human Jesus having to be "perfect" in every way and at all times.
(.i.e. "Yes he did say that - but it must be either the translation or interpretation that's incorrect").
 

BetteTheRed

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And how is "married" "imperfect"? I've heard it suggested that it would be very unlikely that Jesus was un-married. What was a mature man in Jewish society doing without a wife? That would be extremely irregular.

And a "perfect" human is a robot.
 

Mrs.Anteater

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And how is "married" "imperfect"? I've heard it suggested that it would be very unlikely that Jesus was un-married. What was a mature man in Jewish society doing without a wife? That would be extremely irregular.

And a "perfect" human is a robot.
Oh, Jesus having sex- what a dirty thought. I don’t think he was married, I think he was gay- after all, he was traveling with 12 men.:whistle:
 

Mendalla

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Oh, Jesus having sex- what a dirty thought. I don’t think he was married, I think he was gay- after all, he was traveling with 12 men.:whistle:
A 13 man gay orgy might well qualify as "Heaven" or "the Kingdom of God" to some.;)
 

BetteTheRed

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I don't think it is being married that offends those who are offended, it is the suggestion of Jesus having romantic or erotic feelings. As I said, they only pay lip service to "fully human".
And that's where there's a serious misunderstanding of Jewish culture. Couples are required, mutually, to satisfy each other. It's one of the more equitable religions, sexually.

I read a hypothesis that the wedding at Cana was Jesus' wedding. Doesn't quite fit modern translations, but you could see how it might work.
 

Waterfall

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On the other hand if Jesus was an Essene (Nazarene) or even influenced by other religions (eg.egyptian, Indian, etc.), he may have achieved perfection through his dedication, enabling him to say, "I and the father are one." At One Ment in other words.
Didn't he say we could all accomplish this?
 

BetteTheRed

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How can one be fully human without the complications of intimate human relationships? I, in my relative non-relationship with another, have a late "ex husband", an ex-in-law family, a "friend's family", my really different siblings, my extended family, my "friends who are almost family"etc. I get that Jesus might have been asexual in some way/fashion, but I certainly can't imagine that he would have wanted to impose that very minor orientation on the world as a "model". How could Jesus have navigated all these groups with "perfect" behaviour/thoughts/decorum? How is that human and not robotic?
 

BetteTheRed

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I know, right? Desmond Tutu can move me to tears with his fearless love.

Closer to home, a retired minister who is just the spirit of gentleness in our midst.
 

PilgrimsProgress

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On the other hand if Jesus was an Essene (Nazarene) or even influenced by other religions (eg.egyptian, Indian, etc.), he may have achieved perfection through his dedication, enabling him to say, "I and the father are one." At One Ment in other words.
Didn't he say we could all accomplish this?
To quote Mrs.Anteater - read Luke 18:19........
At One Ment could mean that the Kingdom of God has finally become a reality. Don't think we're there yet............
 

revjohn

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PilgrimsProgress said:
How do others who preach handle this tricky situation?
I listen to the complaint and try to discern between valid theological objection and offended opinion.

If the criticism is warranted I will thank whomever offered it.

If not I will still thank them and then move onto whomever is next in line.
 
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