Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Truth That Divides Should Unite

We are divided over so many dumb things. I think The Office is still funny. I know many who think the show died once Steve Carell left. And if I so desired, i could find a thread somewhere where we could argue over this forever, all the while degrading one another's intelligence.

It matters that much.

Or we could discuss our need to divide over many others things in fandom. If I root for one sports team, it necessarily means the fans of the opposing team are morons. Men vs Women, Star Wars vs Star Trek, DC vs Marvel, PC vs Mac, Catholic vs Protestant, Republican vs Democrat, Alien vs Predator. Okay, clearly some of those are more important than others.

But the point is that we seem to enjoy drawing up the battle lines and standing divided. It's kind of stupid really, but acknowledging our penchant to divide doesn't automatically bring us together. It's merely one more way of noticing our differences and trying to decide who is better at..well, anything.

For Christians, this is extremely problematic. I've argued over the past two days, here and here, that truth matters. It certainly does, which is why we Christians have found many, many things to be divided over. And it's not a new problem.

My fear is that we will take the many issues, many of which can be interpreted with careful readings of Scripture and we will elevate these stands to something more than they were ever meant to be. The Apostle Paul said it most succinctly when he wrote this;

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born. ~1 Corinthians 15:3-8

We need to realize that only Christ matters. This means that nothing else matters. We nod along with those last two sentences. But it means that no other human standard matters, not even just the one I think matters. This doesn't take away the importance of truth. It simply makes us all more civil toward one another as we all search for the truth.


James said...

I would agree with you. Christ does matter and because He matters that means his word, the Bible, matters and everything it has to say to us matters. Of course there are going to be people that do not love the truth, that treat God with contempt, that take His name in vain by treating His word lightly. I for one do not want to be classified or identified with those that have an easy believism attitude. Maybe I am a prime example of the kind of person you are referring to, a person who takes side. I'm ok with that, because I do take sides...God's. If being on God's side means that everyone else is against me, Praise God. I'm ok with that. The old saying goes, "If we don't stand for something, we'll fall for anything." I love the truth because it is what sets me free (see John 8:31-32).

2 Thessalonians 2:8–10 (ESV)
8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, 10 and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.

They refuse to love the truth. Yes, we must believe that Jesus died for our sins and we must believe that we died in Him.

Christianity is about being right with God. Dying to self and living for God. Putting away our idols, which is self, self-pleasing, self-serving.

1 Corinthians 11:19 (ESV)
19 for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized.

Darrell Shriver said...

Rick I think I understand what you mean. However, we are to contend for the truth. Not Darrell's truth or James version of truth or Rick's idea of a truth. Just as James pointed out in 2 Thess. not having the love of the truth! There is only one truth. And it is outside of us. We are to submit to it. Not to somebodies version of it.

God bases so much on our love of the truth and our actions learned from it!

No ideologies, no spin. The only losers are the ones that prefer to be on the other side of truth. If we differ as Christians, we must dig and contend for this truth that God asks us to live by! Divisions caused by frivolous differences is wrong, divisions over truth is not. If you have more than one truth, you have the death of truth. Which is a major problem in the modern world....or should we say postmodern world!

Rick Nier said...

I would agree guys. Thanks for your comments!