Friday, January 16, 2015

The Friday Four, Part 101


Friday again already??? Sheesh...  It's been a busy week.


This was an interesting little film, made by Disney, that highlights four different background artists and their varying styles of art, but how they all manage to work together to create beautiful consistent work for the animated film Sleeping Beauty. Really fascinating.

I'm sure there are some lovely metaphors in there about differing perspectives all being beautiful and valid and working together toward a common goal, too, but I'll let you work those out...


As I mused in my post on obedience eons ago, I am extremely uncomfortable with the concept of instant, unquestioning obedience.  I don't think it's healthy for an individual or for a relationship; I don't think it promotes growth and understanding; and I don't think it's entirely in line with the gospel of Jesus Christ.  But this post "A Sea Change: Obedience Is Not the Goal" says it better than I did.  One excerpt:
Growing children with an inner compass that guides their steps toward kindness and compassion and generosity of spirit is far, far and away superior to training children to operate on automatic pilot...Training children into instant obedience is the equivalent of disabling their inner guidance system and strapping on a remote-controlled rocket. The end result may be adults who are easily controlled by others or adults who are deeply divided, constantly fighting the external controls, but hampered by an erratic, immature inner compass that never had the chance to develop properly...
A thoughtfully questioning, passionately curious, and humorously resourceful child who delights in inventing ‘compromises’ and who endlessly pushes the boundaries tends to become a thoughtful, passionate, resourceful adult who will change the world rather than being changed by the world.
And then this pithy statement:
Obedience is doing what you’re told, no matter what’s right.
Morality is doing what’s right, no matter what you’re told
I'm going to have to think on this one for a while, and figure out how to shift my parenting techniques a bit.


This is a post from almost a year ago, but it's stuck with me.  I think there's a great deal of confusion among members of the Church regarding what "contention" is (besides "of the devil"), with some people figuring that anything that makes them feel uncomfortable - like expressing disagreements or divergent opinions - must be interpreted as the Spirit warning them off the topic.

I disagree.  (See what I did there?)

It has a lot more to do with our own pride and with the assumptions we make about those with whom we disagree and the charity that we are willing - or not willing - to extend to them.
Good, faithful, intelligent, thoughtful, prayerful, and honestly diligent members can disagree with each other. I mean that in two ways: 1) disagreement is okay, and 2) just because someone has an opinion I find dead wrong doesn’t mean any holder of that opinion is less good, faithful, intelligent, thoughtful, prayerful, or honestly diligent.
So what do apathy and certainty have to do with contention?  Read the post!  I love the hope and optimism the author exudes.
Escaping contention and giving each other the benefit of the doubt leads to the most exciting of all Christian possibilities: helping make this world better: “One can only imagine what might happen if despite our theological differences, we felt compelled to work together rather than to persuade others that we are right and they are wrong” 
I echo Pastor Meyers with all the feeling a blogger can channel through a keyboard: “I have grown more than a little weary of arguing about doctrinal differences while people starve to death.” And while people suffer. And mourn alone. And feel judged, or ignored, or unwanted.

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