Los Alamos Church of Christ
Throughout this year we are exploring the 9 historical temperaments. We are looking at how we are wired so that we can connect to the infinite God. Let’s review the nine temperaments. Let’s see how the temperaments find sweet spots of worship.
• The Intellectual: Mind and Truth
• The Caregiver: Service and Compassion
• The Traditionalist: Ritual and Symbol
• The Sensate: Beauty and Creation
• The Enthusiast: Mystery and Celebration
• The Ascetic: Solitude, Austerity and Strictness
• The Naturalist: Solitude, Outdoors and Observation
• The Contemplative: Adoration and Intimacy
• The Activist: Confrontation and Injustice
We are spending a couple of weeks on each temperament. We are attempting to learn how, more fully, to connect to God with each of these temperaments. This is the order we are going to study them. We are attempting to hit a couple of things… Easter; with the Traditionalist, the summer; for the Naturalist, and the elections with the Activist. I am still excited about pressing my boundaries of worship.
We have been already been exploring the Intellectual temperament. We have discovered that there are at least 27 of us who scored 70 or higher on the Intellectual temperament test. This is to be expected. This is Los Alamos. We have already learned about the Intellectual temperament that…
--It is valuable to the body of Christ. The heavy lifting of theology is done by those with the intellectual temperament. The great truths of Christianity have been and are being threshed out. We should say… thank you.
--There are some downsides such as arrogance, fudging and legalism. The haughty attitude that believes everyone else should line up to sign up for their exacting doctrines is a show stopper.
--We have attempted some exercises… writing questions, reading, looking at others point of view. There is another handout this morning with the 4th and 5th installments of Richard Beck’s “Grace” articles are amazing. Grace breaks down social superiorities to form the body of Christ! Wow… When I read that my connections with God lit up!
--Part of the challenge this year is to have others speak in their temperaments. I am looking forward to next week when… Emily Chan is going to mix some Intellectual with some Sensate. We are to play the music or our souls. What?
I am also excited about this morning. We are going to do two things…
--I am going to share a story from the life of Jesus while asking what happens when two temperaments get crossed.
--Then, John Elder is going to give us a report from the Gideon’s International.
I am excited about how these two things are going to merge to become one thing. It will be a neat trick.
Let’s begin in Luke 10.
ESV Luke 10:38-40 Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me."
Here is an interesting dilemma… There are two differing temperaments in conflict. Mary, the intellectual, - Tony would argue she is a contemplative… – But she was listening to his teaching. She was an intellectual. Mary is sitting at the feet of Jesus soaking up all the teachings she could. Nothing is better than learning about Jesus.
And Marth is a… caregiver. Martha wanted to serve Jesus an amazing feast. Not to mention the 12 hungry extra guys and who knows how many others were hanging around. Martha knows that blessing Jesus with a lovingly prepared meal… Well, there could be nothing more important.
Conflicting temperaments. What is more important... learning truth from the one who is Truth… or serving the Son of God, himself? An interesting dilemma… Who was right? I think Mary. Tanya might say… Martha.
Let’s see what Jesus says…
ESV Luke 10:41-42 But the Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her."
I was right. But, is Jesus telling Martha that the intellectual temperament is superior to the caregiving temperament? I don’t think that is what Jesus is saying. Perhaps, Jesus is saying that Mary has chosen the good portion for her. Jesus didn’t tell Martha to sit down and listen. Jesus wanted a great feast later on. It is wonderful to have caregivers around… especially cooking caregivers..! Amen? But Mary has chosen her portion. Mary is connecting to her LORD, just like Martha should be taking joy in her portion of caregiving. Both are encouraged to connect in the way they are wired. Jesus is giving both women permission to connect to him with their temperaments.
Temperaments conflict pretty often.
--Intellectuals believe that truth is the most important thing in the universe...
--While Caregivers advocate talking never helped anyone in need.
--In the meantime, Traditionalists argue that connecting is all about the old ways…
--But Sensates want to create something new.
--The Enthusiasts want to have a party…
--But Ascetics say no we need to be alone.
--The Naturalists want to hug a tree,
--While, the Contemplatives gaze at their navels.
--AND the Activists say all of you are wrong unless we fix what is wrong with the world!
Like Mary and Martha, we can be at odds over what we believe is a priority. But what I want to advocate this morning is... When we can mix opposite temperaments amazing things can happen.
One of the ideas I want to explore this year is what happens when two opposing temperaments are merged. What happens when people with conflicting temperaments work together? Can there be a Mary/Martha merging? What happens when the intellectual is mixed with the caregiver?
Here is what can mystically happen. You can get an organization like the Gideons International. They believe in the truth of God’s word so much they have to share it with everyone. What? Intellectual Caregivers!
Mixing two temperaments can lead to amazing results. Let’s find out how this works…
Let’s welcome John Elder from Gideons International…
(John Elder Speaks) (Thanks… amazing things can happen.)
There has never been or ever will be someone who is just like you. This isn’t a testimony about you, but rather a statement of God’s infiniteness. The significance of your uniqueness is… only you can worship God like you. No one can take your place. You are invaluable and irreplaceable. AND God desires you. BUT, God desires all of you. God wants your all 100 billion brain cells. God wants us to mix all our temperaments together in order to find mystical spots of worship.
Stand and join me in reciting The Shema…
ESV Mark 12:29-30 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”
My temperament is God’s gift to me.
My temperament is my gift to God.
My temperament is my gift to the body.
My temperament is my gift to the world.
February 7, 2016
Los Alamos Church of Christ