gao_lu — 2017-01-02T19:00:05-05:00 — #1
Below are some thoughts, right or wrong, on impasse. What are your thoughts?
1. Impasse regarding truth? (Truth regarding a matter, in fact, cannot be discerned.)
2. Impasse of knowledge? (I don't know, so how I can change my mind?)
3. Impasse of will? (I refuse to change my mind.)
4. Impasse of faith? (I just can't believe regardless of information I have received.)
5. Impasse of indecision? (I just can't decide if I should do this or not.)
6. Impasse of anger? (I refuse to continue this discussion because I am angry about it.)
7. Impasse of fear? (My tradition says..., my Party says..., my politically correct senses say...and I just can't go outside that box.)
8. Impasse of respect? (Different perspectives have been laid out, we have pretty much exhausted the topic and agree to disagree.)
- Is there such a thing as actual impasse? Or is all impasse surmountable and therefore temporary?
- I wonder if we would find it helpful to self-identify (accurately or not) which impasse we are experiencing when we arrive there?
- If an impasse is a matter of conviction, perhaps regarding salvation, then we should be free to respectfully say so, and be respected for saying so. In the end, we want to win hearts for Jesus, to the glory of God, with both warning and love. Our hope is that both will be clearly expressed and perceived in the process.
Impasse is a clash between different parts of personality with opposing goals and wants. Often an impasse forms as a collision between Parent and Child ego states. For example, a man feels insulted at work and the child ego within wants to express anger and displeasure. The adult ego is a voice saying, "Good men don't get angry, they control themselves." The child wants to get angry. The adult wants to be confident and polite. The inner impasse, whereby no forward progress occurs, manifests as depression.
The cure to the impasse, allegedly, is when one ego prevails and is expressed. The child ego may prevail and the impasse is cured by venting anger--this is often a harmful and temporary cure. The adult ego may prevail stifling the child ego, perhaps with legalism but the impasse is broken. Or the adult ego may prevail and redefine the child ego something like this: "I will pray for wisdom and respond in a Godly way, and by faith the childishness within will be transformed, being conformed to the image of Christ, that I may glorify Him."
[You can likely guess which method I think is best]
God is not at an impasse with Himself and does not lead us into an impasse. Thus, impasse originates from within. Impasse does not exist as an entity of its own, but originates within, so Impasse within produces impasse with others. Perhaps we could also say it like this: "Impasse with others may originate from impasse within." [Note: I am not sure at all that is right, and just thinking about it.]
Suggestions pick-list for walking through perceived impasse:
- Self-identify type of impasse.
- Suggest a time-out to think things through with reduced emotion.
- Ask the person, "It seems we disagree. What do you think we should do now?"
- Take a post or two to list areas of agreement.
- Suggest to lay the topic down peaceably.
My thoughts above are hastily constructed and open to substantial revision. Have at it! What is written above is a lot, maybe too much, but I am interested in discussion on the matter. What do you have to say?
dave_l — 2017-01-03T06:15:27-05:00 — #2
Interesting thoughts. For the personal inner conflicts (child/adult) I believe as Christians we have a greater sense of impasse than non believers. Because everything is in a heightened state. What the carnal mind thinks is good is sin to us. So for this I follow Paul's advise;
“(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” (2 Corinthians 10:4–5)
So as soon as an imagination or thought comes to mind that doesn't square with Christ I reject it. Just like changing channels with a remote control on a TV.
And then for the impasses with others I always begin assuming they are better and more knowledgeable than me. Also by Paul's admonition;
“Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” (Philippians 2:3) And just as I hold my thoughts and imaginations accountable to the Scriptures, I do the same with others.
gao_lu — 2017-01-07T17:13:02-05:00 — #3
......Bill? Any thoughts?.......
wolfgang_schneider — 2017-01-08T02:12:00-05:00 — #4
In the case of impasses reached here in exchanges on CD forums, my observations is that such situations arise when contrary understandings concerning the meaning of a scripture meet. When participants are interested in having truth and a true understanding, then the real questions as to which understanding (if any of those propagated) is actually true and which would be in need of adjustment and correction.
The problem will persist if there is no common and objective "rule" or "measure" for truth exists, and/or subjective ideas are used as measure for truth. The problem will also persist when there is refusal to accept objective arguments which might indicate or show that one's understanding is faulty and incorrect. Very unfortunately, usually then the objectively faulty understanding is then often rationalized and declared to be "what Scripture says" or "what God says" or "what the Holy Spirit has taught me", and thereby the situation is made worse in that now "the lie becomes the truth" / "the error becomes the truth".
The real questions to be considered for a remedy seem to me to be such questions as:
Are we willing to learn and change our current views?
What would we accept as valid reason and argument to determine that our current view is incorrect and needs adjustment and correction?
Is Scripture to be the measure for truth or are church traditions and dogmas our measure for truth?
Are we bound in some way by group/peer pressure or affiliation?
Especially this last question addresses what I would consider a very influential point ... as I can tell you from personal experience, that in many denominations / groups / etc. a deviation from the prescribed understanding propagated by that church/denomination/group may rather quickly result in ex-communication ( for hired preachers, it may mean the immediate loss of a job, etc) .... Thus I know a number of older preachers who actually are waiting for their retirement to arrive before they will publically voice their differences with their "denomination's doctrine" ... and in the meantime they just avoid those topics so as to not have "to cut their own throat"
I do believe that when Scripture is interpreted and understood as much as possible on its own merit and from -- as much as possible -- an objective position, anyone can arrive at a proper and correct understanding of what Scripture teaches. Thus my attempts in my posts to point out textual detail, provide textually based reasoning as to why I hold a certain understanding of a passage to be the correct one, etc .... For decades now, I have not had a denominational affiliation,and therefore I am free to change my current understanding at any time without fear of losing a job, losing group recognition, losing friends, etc.
Some thoughts from someone who believes that there never need to be an impasse when it comes to the Scriptures and studying the Scriptures together .... any impasses seem to me to be self-made, because "road blocks" in the form of personal pride, group/peer pressure, non-Scriptural theology, etc. are put up .... the "agree to disagree" argument to me is a typical "road sign" accompanying the setting up of such a "road block"
gao_lu — 2017-01-08T02:23:05-05:00 — #5
Good thoughts, Wolfgang. Thanks.
I really appreciate your questions here and want to emphasize them: