2 Timothy 2:24-25
I'm not uncomfortable with subjective things but, in the Scriptures, the subjective responses are grounded in some objective truths.I'm not saying that boredom doesn't exist, Ben, but that we need to define something a bit better than saying: "I think...."
p0rnography is a sin. We can find it in the Scriptures.
Is "being boring" a sin?
Also, I find many things boring that you probably find interesting. I work on servers for hours with delight. Am I boring?
I've attended lectures on terrorism where the speaker, in typical style, read his paper for the seminar. It was not delivered well but the topic was interesting. Was it a "boring" lecture or not?
Rich - the reference to p0rnography was not about morality, it was about definition - the whole "I know it when I see it" definition. It was intended to be an allusion to the fact that somethings are very difficult to define with objective and aboslute precision, but that doesn't undermine the reality of the thing... Some things are difficult to define, we just "know it" when we see it.
I think you're asking for too much. You're asking for an absolute definition when "boring" is inherently subjective - even when a group of people agree that someone or something is "boring" that can never be more than a collectively held subjective belief. So the best you can ask is "Am I boring to YOU" or "was the lecture boring to you?"
I understand that conservative folks are somewhat uncomfortable with subjective things, because it smells of postmodernism, but that's the way things are on occasion. Which is why my guidance on the subject has always been relatively directed to the individual - if it is boring to YOU then consider doing this or that. Can the pastor consistently preach sermons that maintain the attention of everybody in his congregation? Well, some seem to be able to do, but most "can't." The best the pastor can do is his best. Obviously, if the subjective consensus of the entire congregation is that the pastor is boring, then the congregation can take measures to address that.
The problem, again, with pinning something down as boring is that people can only describe what factors they believe contribute to their boredom (or the people they know) but cannot pin down why it must be characterized as boring.
One of the reasons a Supreme Court Justice is forced to simply say "He knows it when he sees it" is because he is unable to objectively point to a Law where we do not have such a problem. I don't believe the analogy is apt because the Law of God makes lust and other indulgences of the flesh very clearly moral violations.
The problem here is that nobody has provided any Scriptural warrant that commands a man not to be perceived as boring. How could we apply the general equity of the Law to do so? How would we rebuke a Pastor for being "boring"?
Again, we can apply many objective criteria by which a Session could tell the man specifics about style, not being pedantic, not being prideful, expressing direct concern for the listener, etc. But, if a Session, merely told a man: "I can't tell you anything except that I think you're boring," then what, precisely, is a man supposed to do with that kind of criticism?
When you're dealing with self-improvement, you have to work on tangible qualities and that list that Pergie provided is tangible but those problems are not unique to being perceived as boring. Frankly, for many of them, my reaction would be indignation or frustration and a whole set of other emotional reactions rather than settling on boring.
Under the stringent requirements placed on someone before they are allowed to use the term "boring" one could also never refer to a sermon as "exciting" either or "captivating" - one must stick to terms such as "doctrinally correct or "in error" and leave all emotionally-laden subjective terms aside.
See above. I would also add that the emotional criteria you mention might be dangerous if the goal of the preacher is focused upon "not being boring" but receiving the benediction from the congregation that he is "exciting."
This points, in fact, to a poverty of any other number of elements of Worship. For instance, "exciting" and "dynamic" are used as primary criteria by many to select songs and tunes and many believe they are only worshipping when they feel "excited" or "worshipful". When I'm worshipping God in song, for instance, I don't always have an emotional reaction to singing nor do I worry if I do not. Yet, when reading a Psalm responsively yesterday in Worship, I was very moved by it because it caused me to reflect on the objective Truth of my status in Christ.