Friday, October 27, 2006

Acceptance Redux

Something that sort of crept up on me over the past few days was sparked by one of Brother Maurice of Far Indianapolis about 'Love without Approval', which is somewhat confusingly called 'Acceptance'

The stumbling block, for this reader at least, is this passage:

It'’s harder to love those who have quirks, who are weird, or who aren't real likeable. It'’s a true test to love your enemies. Yet it is here that is the measure of our faith, of who and what we say we'’re about. Acceptance is tough. It is difficult to embrace everything as a gift. Actually, I think we confuse acceptance with a lot of things that it doesn't do. You can'’t reject someone (or an idea) and accept it at the same time. You'd think that would be an obvious thing to state, yet look at how '“hate the sin and love the sinner'” practically works itself out. Indifference, resignation, or partial/begruding acceptance is not acceptance. It might be 'not caring'” but that'’s not the same as acceptance. Nor is acceptance approval. I think that is a key hang up that people have. That if I 'accept'” a person or their worldview that'’s the same as (tacit) approval of it.

I agree with almost all of that passage, apart from the red bit. The problem is, at least for me, that acceptance with 'disapproval' isn't 'acceptance'. It's raking up one's own ego as a condition of 'acceptance'. Soon as the ego gets in there, both judgement, and an inherent idea of superiority, which may or may not be justified, turns up sere and pinched to dance a ghastly quadrille. Then you may as well just 'not care', in fact, to me, apathy is a far better alternative.

Was, 'Now go, and sin no more' a reproof, or a piece of advice? Who knows... the woman at the well appears to be a fragment of lost context, but looking at Jesus ministry, the people who were with him he seemed to take as he found, so it could well just have been a farewell 'Well, don't let me keep you, and don't do anything I wouldn't do'

I really don't see that 'acceptance' with any rider can be but judgement in a party frock. And what did the Son of Man have to say about judging folk?


Blogger anne said...

Harley, perhaps it's the word approve that's a problem here. I can love someone and accept them for who they are, and lament the fact the make choices that are harmful. I can hold an unfavorable opinion of their beliefs or behavior and still accept them.

9:46 PM  
Blogger Harlequin said...

Yes, I suppose so.

I guess I'm with Socrates in that "The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance." And, 'No man chooses evil because it is evil; he only mistakes it for happiness, the good he seeks.' which is Mary Wollstonecraft-Shelly paraphrasing dear old Uncle Socrates.
The key is to get past one's distaste, judgement, and see the person or soul beyond...

I try and fail at this with clockwork regularity...

11:20 PM  

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