As soon as I said it, I knew it could be trouble. So as soon as I said–during an interview on Moody Radio’s Midday Connection–that Jesus “did some grumbling” in the Garden of Gethsemane, I made a mental note, prepared to get some push-back. Not from the hosts–Anita Lustrea and Melinda Schmidt, who understood what I meant. But from listeners, who may have just tuned in or who hadn’t made the leap (my fault, not theirs).
I wondered, though, if that push-back might finally usher in the question I’d been waiting for, the question I could not believe no one had yet asked. The question that I had, frankly, avoided in my book, but was nevertheless prepared to answer.
Well, two days after my interview on Midday, a full month after publicity for my book began, a full year after I’d turned in the manuscript, I got the push-back. Someone finally asked the question–or, actually, made the statement–I’d been waiting for.
In a gracious, thoughtful email (she never once called me a heretic, a bad Christian or a bad mom. She just simply questioned my word choice) mail to the Midday hosts, a listener wrote:
“About 23 minutes into the discussion, Caryn is talking about Biblical examples
of pouring our hearts out to God. When she references Jesus in the
garden, she makes a short statement that ‘He was doing some grumbling
there, I think.’
“This is wrong. Grumbling is sin. And Jesus did not sin. Yes, He poured
His heart out to God about the suffering He was in. However, He did not
sin by grumbling to God. Phil 2:14 says to do everything without grumbling.”
And there it was: the reference to the Philippians 2:14 I’d been waiting for. This verse, at least in the NIV, says as she wrote: “Do everything without grumbling, or arguing.”
So, how is it, then, that I can claim we ought to do something (praise God) with grumbling? How can I ever claim that Jesus himself grumbled a bit?
I have my answers. But thought I’d toss it out here first. Mostly, because I don’t have time to dive in. #lazy
Any thoughts? Is grumbling–even a hallelujah–a sin? Am I, in my book, telling people to do wrong?