Monday, September 21, 2009


CIVILITY-----A Definition.

Courteous behavior...
A courteous act...

CIVILITY is connected to-----Civilization.
An advanced development of society.

Having advanced in cultural or social

Synonyms-----Respectfully, graciousness.

Antonyms-----Rudely, disrespect.

UNFORTUNATELY----Lack of civility can be seen as....

RACISM...A belief that race is
the primary determinant of human capaities and traits.

MISOGYNY...Hatred of women.

MISANTHROPY...Hatred of men.

the Jews.

All this depends on the heart of the one who is being rude [And we can't know that always.] and on the race or gender of the one who is the object of the rudeness or incivility.

Incivility is NOT appropriate or proper for our society and is certainly out of bounds for a true christian.

INCIVILITY---in our culture is rampant but not surprisingly so since group or accepted guidelines for personal behavior are boundaries that people who see others to be of value and worth are willing to impose on themselves for the good of all. Our society is now emphasizing the individual to the exclusion of others with little respect for the sacredness of life that should begin before the birth experience. That disrespect for the sacredness of life is slowly permeating the entire fabric of our society.

CHRISTIAN CIVILITY---is because of the rule of Christ in our lives, however, and is NOT to be taken from or borrowed from our culture.

Our civility comes from truly loving others as we are loved "in Christ" and that includes loving even our enemies.


One--It is not optional for the believer.

Two--It is not our goal. Loving Him in return is our goal and that is what is mirrored in our love for others for good or bad.

Three--It would make for a better society any time we're willing to embrace it.

Paul B.


Anonymous said...

A much needed word for all of us today! I wonder....if we all spent as much time praying, loving, and respecting our leaders as we do 'bashing' 'gossiping', and 'judging' them....hhmmm! Not to do away with challenging what is wrong, but 'how' to challenge what is wrong surely needed to be addressed. Thanks for the reminder of the 'hows' because of 'whose' we are!!! Marjory

Bryan Riley said...

I think of Ephesians 4 and 5. It's fundamental. It's too bad fundamentalism can't mean clinging to the fundamental teachings of Jesus and the early church.

Donna said...

Very timely. I've become quite concerned over the angry responses even among friends on Facebook over political issues. I addressed the subject obliquely in a blog I wrote reflecting on a sermon topic: "The sermon text was 1 Corinthians 15:50-58. Paul, in verses 51-52 says twice that we shall all be changed. Then, juxtapositioned, – after telling us we will all be changed – he tells us in verse 58 'Therefore, stand firm and be immovable.'”

I continued, "Beth Moore, in her August 2009 simulcast, mentioned the psalmist (Psalm 37) saying, “Trust God and do good.” She said we sometimes interpret that as “do right” but it says 'do good.' I was caught by the current political illustration of that 'do good – do right' scenario: the conservative Christian political view seems to be that Obama (Democrats) is wrong and we (Christian conservative Republicans) are right and we will prove ourselves right at all costs. No matter what he (they) wants to do, we need to dig in, be immovable – undermine him at every turn; eventually, when he fails, we will be proved right. In the meantime, we have done nothing good for our country or our economy."

Paul Burleson said...


Thanks for stopping by. Great last sentenc.


Those verses say it all don't they.


Good comment. I enjoy your blog.

Aussie John said...


I am often left with questions when reading the words, or listening to the speech of many who claim to be Christians, when the corrosive, divisive nature of their efforts are made evident .

Your comment,"CHRISTIAN CIVILITY---is because of the rule of Christ in our lives, however, and is NOT to be taken from or borrowed from our culture", is spot on.

The implication, of course, is fully expressed in your first "FINAL FACT", which bears emphasis, because "it is NOT OPTIONAL" , because, your next two points are A RESULT of genuinely being a new creature in Christ.

It ought to be expected that, as one grows in maturity, this "Christian Civility" will be as natural as fig trees bearing figs.

The questions I'm often left with, when, for instance, reading the comments on some blogs, is those James asks, "Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.

Can it be that, in our haste to get "bums on pews" that we have generated pews, and even some pulpits, full of actors (hupocrites)?

Paul Burleson said...

Aussie John,

Your entire comment use one of your phrases..."spot on."

Chris Ryan said...

The definitive word on the subject, because it is faithful to the definitive Word. Thanks.

Steve Miller said...

Thanks Brother Paul. We do become what we focus our attention upon don't we. I purpose to look unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of my faith. I am fearful of what I might become if my eyes looked and camped elsewhere. Thanks again for the civil reminder.

Steve in San Antonio

Kate Johnson said...

A needed word today... especially with what is going on in my "circle of Christians). Thank you.

Paul Burleson said...


And I like your definitive comment. :)


Great reminder about our "focus of attention." May we all pay attention to your comment.


We OBVIOUSLY travel in the same "circles." :)

Paul Burleson said...

Oh brother. The prefix "in" has been added on the post the couple of places where it was left off and made for pitiful reading of what I was really saying. My grandson wrote me and called my attention to it. THANKS Dal.

The rest of you either didn't notice or chose to let an old guy totter in his ignorance. I DO know the difference in the words but AM forgetting a lot of things lately. :)

Chris Ryan said...

I can't speak for the rest, but who am I, the worst of all offenders, to judge the speck in my brother's eye? :)

Paul Burleson said...


Spoken like a biblically knowledgeable guy and a true blogger. :)

Paul Burleson said...


Your comment was on the former post "ON BEING A PASTOR." I answered it there as well. Thanks for stopping by.

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