SOUR GRAPES?

In the fable of “The Fox and the Grapes”, by Aesop, on failing to reach the desired bunch of grapes, the fox then decides he does not truly want the fruit because it is sour. The fox’s act of rationalization (justification) reduced his anxiety over the cognitive dissonance from the desire he cannot realise. (from Cognitive dissonance (en.wikipedia.org))

In her post, insanitybytes22 refers to herself as “sour grapes” (Sour Grapes). I am not quite sure what she means, but I do not think I am that fox.

Reality is what is it is. What we want to believe only changes how we respond to reality. When I insist upon wrongly perceiving what is true, I pray our Lord disciplines me (Hebrews 12:4-11). Would it not be a shame to miss out on the sweet taste of good grapes?

I like insanitybytes22, and I enjoy her blog. I don’t expect that to change.

Insanitybytes22 have a disagreement. The Bible suggests that is not necessarily a sad thing.

Proverbs 27:17 New American Standard Bible

17 As iron sharpens iron,

So one person sharpens another.

Because we each come at the world with our own unique point-of-view, we each will see what we can see from a different perspective. Therefore, disagreements are inevitable, but that does not have to be a problem. When we set aside our pride and share and discuss what we see, we learn from each other. Thus, insanitybytes22 and I debate, and sometimes — because I don’t easily set aside my pride — I am a bit pompous and hardheaded. And so is she. Nevertheless, we can work through our differences.

Rather than write a more elaborate response, I will just explain my purpose in this particular debate with insanitybytes22.

Carefully consider Romans 14, especially these verses.

Romans 14:10-12 New American Standard Bible

10 But as for you, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or you as well, why do you regard your brother or sister with contempt? For we will all appear before the judgment seat of God. 11 For it is written:

“As I live, says the Lord, to Me every knee will bow,

And every tongue will give praise to God.”

12 So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God.

What is Paul’s purpose in Romans 14:10-12? I think he is trying to prevent Christians from dividing themselves over relatively small matters. It is one thing for us to argue over whether or not Jesus Christ died for us on the cross and rose from the dead. That is the fundamental article of our faith. Whether or not we should eat meat on Fridays, however, is debatable. What is difficult is deciding how we resolve issues in dispute that are important, but not as fundamental to the faith as the divinity of Jesus Christ.

With Romans 14 in mind, consider why I believe I should discourage insanitybytes22 from complaining so much about sexual about sexual abuse in Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). Is not sexual abuse an important issue? Yes, but I work with other Christians like insanitybytes22 to spread the Gospel online. When we portray the SBC as a hotbed of sexual abuse, we portray fellow Christians (even if we are not Baptists) as hypocrites who say they are against sexual abuse but do nothing to stop it. That is, we help spread a Liberal Democrat news media half-truth.

Sexual abuse is a society wide problem, not an issue exclusive to the SBC. However, the Liberal Democrat news media would have us believe the SBC is an especially noxious hotbed of sex abuse. Think about that. Don’t the people in the Liberal mass media make their living by portraying sex and violence as entertainment? Those people want to accuse the SBC of being a hotbed of sexual abuse? And we are supposed to take them seriously?

Why do such news media half-truths against Christians and Conservatives work? Accepting the message of the Gospel may save us, but it does not complete the process of sanctification. We still remain sinners. All of us. We still choose imperfect men and women to lead us. All of us. Our leaders never cease to disappoint us, and neither to our fellow men and women, including our fellow Christians. In fact, we even disappoint ourselves. Nevertheless, when the Liberal Democrat news media accuses an organization like the SBC of sexual abuse, we should see that for the joke it is.

The distinction of between Christians and Non Christians isn’t that Christians are perfect and Non Christians are not. Christians choose to believe in Jesus Christ, that He is the Son of God and that He died for our sins. Non Christians, including Atheists, choose to believe in some other god. It is that difference in what we believe that makes a difference in how we behave and how we live. Unfortunately, that difference is not always as large a difference as it ought to be. Consider how Jesus put it.

Matthew 7:15-23 New American Standard Bible

A Tree and Its Fruit

15 “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes, nor figs from thistles, are they? 17 So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 So then, you will know them by their fruits.

21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; leave Me, you who practice lawlessness.’

If we are uncaring, Jesus will not recognize us as one of His sheep. If we love our Lord, we will strive to obey Him, and we will strive to love each other as He loved us.

8 thoughts on “SOUR GRAPES?

  1. Tom – Insanitybytes

    Weighty issue. I wonder if we should be as forgiving or profess sour grapes about clergy who seduce children according to this Bible verse which can be interrupted as either sour grape is warranted instead of forgiveness for child molesters.

    “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. (Matthew 18:16)

    In our contemporary times, we seem to focus on forgiving human offenders when in fact they emulate beasts.

    Sad when there is no accountability to motivate the wisdom of fear, only love and forgiveness.

    Perhaps by our doing so, we may be contributing to the problem of child molesters including clergy failings which in my opinion, carries over an even greater weight when it leads to faith believers to lose faith and trust in sending their children to be taught religious values.

    Regards and goodwill blogging.,
    .

    1. I think I see two issues here.
      1. Forgiveness. Consider.

      Luke 17:1-4 New American Standard Bible

      17 Now He said to His disciples, “It is inevitable that stumbling blocks come, but woe to one through whom they come! 2 It is better for him if a millstone is hung around his neck and he is thrown into the sea, than that he may cause one of these little ones to sin. 3 Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. 4 And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.”

      If our we do not repent of our sins, our Lord does not forgive us. Similarly, where there is no repentance, we are not required to forgive.

      2. Government. Look at Romans 13:1-7.
      Government maintains its authority by punishing the disobedient. Most people have a conscience and try to obey the law, but some are shameless. Without the fear of punishment, the shameless will not obey the law.

      1. Tom,
        Repent but verify. Too many clergy have recorded being repentant but wound up repeating thier acgtions.
        Regards and goodwill blogging.

  2. “Sour grapes” is just an idiom that means to have chased after something unattainable and to be resentful enough to say, “never mind, I didn’t want it anyway.” Yes, it is just like the fox in Aesop’s tale of the Fox and the Grapes.

    You are right, disagreement is not all bad. In fact, it can produce good fruit! Iron sharpens iron.

    In the Bible, in both Ezekiel and Jeremiah we also have the phrase, “The fathers have eaten a sour grape, and the children’s teeth are set on edge.” It means the children suffer for the sins of the father and pay the price. It’s the reality of our existence but it’s a grave injustice.

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