Image Hosted by

Off the top

A blog dedicated to the Source of everything good.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Misinterpretation and misrepresentation, part I

Whether intentional or unintentional, these both have played a large role in the Terri Schiavo saga, may she rest in peace.

The heart is deceitfully wicked. (Jeremiah 17:9) Even the true disciple of Jesus Christ is not exempt from having a dishonest or unloving heart. It’s easy to be an "armchair judge" –- to observe a situation from the outside and note what should or shouldn’t be done, and to think, “I would never do _____.” But when push comes to shove, let’s admit it – none of us are saints.

Besides that, we all have conflicts of interest. And even in our honest concern, borne out of love, we may become defensive and adversarial toward anyone not sharing that concern. How easy it is to forget the truth of Ephesians 6:12.

A few days ago, a blog commenter (not on this blog) reported that Judge George Greer has left Calvary Baptist, his church in Clearwater, FL. An article at reported this as well.

Other sources have stated specifically that Greer was asked to leave the church.

In the article, the pastor of Calvary Baptist, William Rice, is quoted as saying that he and Greer "exchanged letters about the nature of Greer's church affiliation." Earlier, The St. Petersburg Times reported that Greer told a church deacon, "If I don't like what the St. Pete Times writes about me, my only recourse is to cancel my subscription." He told the deacon he would no longer make donations to the church.

Rice reportedly told the Baptist Press, "I felt like [the Times' comments] opened the door for me to write him and ask what kind of relationship he desired to have with the church."

That's rather euphemistic language, and perhaps such language is appropriate when discussing a matter in which privacy may be an issue. But, apparently, Rice’s letter has become public. He sent a copy to the Clearwater courthouse. Why he did so has not been stated, and whether he actually intended the letter to become public is not known.

This article from the St. Petersburg Times, dated March 22, tell us that Rice wrote Greer, "it might be easier for all of us" if Greer left. "I am not asking you to do this, but since you have taken the initiative of withdrawal, and since your connection with Calvary continues to be a point of concern, it would seem the logical and, I would say, biblical course."

Since this portion of Rice's letter has become public, in light of his comments to the Baptist Press one must ask whether his words truly represent, as he claims, mere inquiry. They sound a lot like opinion to me. Or advice masquerading as opinion. Or perhaps a request masquerading as opinion/advice. What is the extent of the diplomacy here?

In other words, what did Rice really mean? What motivated him?

*sigh* God knows...


  • I read and enjoyed your comments at Marla Swoffer's blog. We shouldn't neglect to pray for Judge Greer, especially now. Hope that he is not driven farther from his Father though this experience.

    By Blogger Hannah Im, at 8:37 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home