The title of this post was penned by John (Aussie John) from “Caesura” in his post “Gnats and Camels.” (except I changed to the American spelling of “pretense”) It is a great read, and I would encourage you to take the time to read the whole article.
John looks back on his on “training” and experience and recognizes that he was often trained in “straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel.” He says that he was taught how to separate from others over the minute details of various “ologies” while ignoring the grace and love of God for all his children.
Consider how he concludes this very insightful post:
Under our tutors we become very careful that what we really are is masked by the outward show, little realising that by unthinkingly, and uncritically, receiving their teaching and lead we have been thrown into the stream, in the still waters near the shore, and, imperceptibly at first, we move into the current, and move more easily into the flow of pretence, even deceiving ourselves that the deception we are in is not sinful.
Paul, in Romans I 24-25, wrote “God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever!”
We have no trouble applying that to the pagans of Paul’s day and agreeing that God is just to give them over to their hearts’ desires, and their insistence in gratifying those desires, but great difficulty in applying any question regarding ourselves.
Causes me to think deeply about what we are seeing today in much of what is professed to be Christianity.
I have noticed this tendency also – both in myself and others. We assume that what we think and do and plan and believe is correct, while those who disagree with us must necessarily be wrong – and obviously wrong. “Why can’t they just accept their own failing and follow my wisdom – which is obviously from God while there’s is not. If they refuse, then I want nothing to do with them…”
Of course we all believe that we are hearing God correctly and obeying him, but then so do I brothers and sisters in Christ. Guess what? You know how you trust God to lead you and change your mind and heart by his grace? We can trust him to do the same with others… and we can continue to fellowship with them in spite of our disagreements.
Otherwise, as John says, God may simply turn us over to the desires of our heart and surround us with people who think and act and believe exactly like we do.
hmmm… perhaps he’s done that already in some cases.