Is Cynicism a Sin?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Tim, May 24, 2003.

  1. Tim

    Tim
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    I don't know about you, but many of life's experiences have made it harder for me to avoid increasing cynicism. It's easy to become cynical about the effectiveness of the church, about the sincerity of Christian people when there are so many failures around us, and we know our own shortcomings as well.

    So is cynicism sinful? Or is it merely the down-side of wisdom (as exhibited in Ecclesiastes)?

    Tim
     
  2. Major B

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    A healthy degree of cynicism just means that a believer has lived long enough to know by experience the truth of human depravity (Jer 17:9, Eph 2:1-3, Rom 1:18-3:20 etc. etc. etc.).

    A certain degree of cynicism was even present in our Lord:

    John 2:24-25 "But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men, 25 and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man."

    And as for churches and professing Christians, I have written elsewhere the following concerning the early church:

    "(1) Some lied to the church about a business deal, and God took them out. (Acts 5:1-5).

    (2) The church could not agree on how to distribute food to the widows, and there had to be a big meeting to get things straight. (Acts 6)

    (3) One of the deacons was hijacked and killed by a mob for preaching the gospel in street corners (it was not a legal execution—the Jews had no capital authority). (Acts 7)

    (4) A charlatan tried to work his way into one of the first missions in Samaria. (Acts 8)

    (5) When one of the enemies of the church was saved, they almost did not forgive him and accept him. (Acts 9)

    (6) When the gospel was taken to people of another race, there was a big ruckus over that. (Acts 10)

    (7) Some legalists got into the home church, and one of the mission churches had to push for an associational meeting to settle the doctrinal issue. (Acts 15)

    (8) Some of the believers in Ephesus were messing around with the occult, and they had to get right (Acts 19).

    (9) And so on—most of the letters in the NT were addressing church issues like these.

    (10) There are no perfect churches. If there is a church without problems, it is a church without people."
     
  3. Dr. Bob

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    I try to be just like my pup. Gobble up goodies quick because I never know WHY they are there or WHEN they will disappear. Works with hot dogs on Memorial Day weekend!

    Questioning, not sure of motives, thinking the worst (while gobbling up everything in sight).

    BTW, guess what the Latin word for "dog" is? :rolleyes:
     
  4. Major B

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    Fido, or the Cajun spelling phydeaux.
     
  5. Dr. Bob

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    Close but no Tabasco. :D

    Rover isn't it, either, for you Brits. :eek:

    Other takers? Under takers?
     
  6. Alcott

    Alcott
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    Canis.
    And "cynic" is derived from Latin cynicus, related to Greek kunikos, meaning "doglike."
     
  7. Major B

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    canis
     
  8. Major B

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    I don't mind being compared to Seamus, my Chocolate Lab. He is loyal, trustworthy, consistent, and smarter than lots of folks I hve met. Now my wife's little dogette....
     
  9. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24
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    How long does it take criticism to grow out of cynicism? I know it is a sin to have a 'critical spirit'.

    :confused:
    Sue
     
  10. Major B

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    Having a healthy amount of cyncism makes one cautious (lay hands quickly on no man...), it does not necessarily make one unduly critical, though I suppose it can. My cynicism makes me not surprised when a believer fails or when a church fails; but my love for them makes me hurt for them just the same.
     
  11. latterrain77

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    I believe that cynicism can be a sin. I say this because cynicism is often used as a means to demean and undermine another person's best efforts. There is nothing wrong with being "cynical" in a prudent manner (such as "checking things out" before acting). However, taken to the extreme, cynicism can be very demoralizing to all who come in contact with it. latterrain77
     
  12. Ben W

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    It is certainley easy to feel Cynical at times. Best way to fix that is to get stuck into your churches programme and think about positive ways that you can nuture and support the churches vision.
     
  13. Pete

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    Found great quote on web going back a bit: "I'm not cynical, just experienced..." :D

    Pete
     
  14. Larry in Tennessee

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    I used to feel the same way. It caused me to become very disillusioned with the Church. I did alot of praying, and read a few books on the subject. One that really helped me was "The Disillusioned Christian" by Ken Abraham. I came to realize that people will fail, but that's because we're all human. The main thing is to keep our eyes on Jesus, because He will never fail.

    I just wish I could overcome my cynicism towards Caeser. I don't believe anything my elected officials say, because I don't believe any of them have the public interest at heart, but only care about winning votes.

    Love in Christ,
    Larry
     
  15. Tim

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    BenW,

    Your solution (more church involvement) worked temporaraily for me ten years ago, but ultimately it just exposed me to more to be cynical about. Does that mean I'm wiser now?

    Larry in TN,

    I think you're right, in that you have to walk through those dark times and look for the light of Christ on the other side. There's no easy solution. I think Solomon seems to be doing something like that in Ecclesiastes.

    In Christ,

    Tim
     
  16. Artimaeus

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    A healthy dose of cynicism is probably quite wise, at least in the beginning of anything. Then as time passes and you become more familiar with people or events then you can learn to trust. Usually a person who is known as a cynic is a mistrusting person who became known as a cynic because they mistrusted what they should have trusted and are so surprised at other peoples trust that they react in a smart-alec way to compensate for their aloneness is the mistrust. I would say that being a smart-alec about it is a sin but trusting too much or trusting too little is just a matter of judgement.
     
  17. Tim

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    I guess that being wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove is a difficult balance.

    Tim
     
  18. blackbird

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    There is a little cynic in all of us!! The famous Doctor Bob's cynic goes around eatin' his hotdogs first and thinkin' and askin' questions later!! He must be related to me some sorta way!! I don't recall momma givin' any of us up for adoption, though! HAAAAA!

    The cynic spirit tells us to carry an umbrella in the car--although the forecast calls for sunny skies---but on the other hand--the cynic spirit sometimes will cause us to be lazy---like, "Well, I would wash the car today but tomorrow it'll rain! So whats the use!"

    Too much cynisism in America---we tell ourselves, "I've got this here cell phone just for emergencies!" And yet we blab away in our cars and at Wal-Mart like every second of our day is an emergency!!

    Your buddy,
    Blackbird
     
  19. JonathanDT

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    I think all of us are either ignorant, innocent, or cynical -to some degree- as far as the church is concerned. Some simply aren't involved or don't care, thus they are ignorant of the struggles. Others are too new in the faith or aren't capable of understanding, so they are still innocent to the struggles. And the rest of us have a healthy amount of cynicism.
     
  20. Charlotte Marcel

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    Cynicsim is the belief that all people are motivated by selfishness. Wouldn't believing that be sinful according to God's word?

    God Bless you,
    Charlotte
     

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