Wise as Serpents?

I have remarked before about how naive Christians can be when it comes to evil and original sin in the hearts of mankind. Critical thinking is totally lacking in situation after situation. 1)see this horrible story for a great example. Today, I came across a new story of pastoral adultery, but I want to focus on how church members reacted to the news of the adultery, and not on the story itself.

The story concerns Rev. Reggie Weaver, someone I have never heard of, who cheated on his wife. Apparently, Weaver was an up and comer in his neck of the woods. Listen to the reactions of those around him:

It was certainly not something I knew about before.

And:

I worked with him very closely. The time that I was here he was a very private person and very devoted to his craft. I didn’t see that coming. I’m totally surprised. They seemed like such a great couple.

And:

When asked if there was not even the slightest hint of trouble for the young couple prior to their jump to the much larger Westminster church, he said he was totally blindsided.

“None whatsoever. The two of them were so devoted. She traveled a lot. She was out of town quite a bit … this is a total surprise to me. I did not see this coming at all,” said Butler.

My point is not that these parishioners should have somehow caught on to his adultery, but rather that the “shock” they all express does not mirror what we know of our own hearts. This is the same kind of naivety that I run into all the time when dealing with Rwanda, and people who choose not to believe highly sourced U.N. reports because they “know” the bishops involved, have stayed with them, have been on retreats with them, etc. and those bishops would never do such things.

People cannot exercise basic critical thinking about a church totally embedded in a police state with all that situation entails, but rather trust their gut about the integrity of people. These are the same folks who will be “shocked” when even more evidence comes to light in the future. They are not wise as serpents.

References   [ + ]

1. see this horrible story for a great example.

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