I often write about questions for which I struggle to find the answer or am rethinking my answers about. I have an inquisitive mind. I like to look at things from as many points of view, perspectives and angles that I possibly can. I don’t think that’s a bad thing. But when it comes to discussing matters of faith, spirituality and religion it can be a scary thing. In my fellowship (Churches of Christ) we have a very bad habit of reacting negatively and even harshly towards people who don’t think like we do. I’m not sure why? I’m not sure where this trend or attitude came from. But I know it’s prevalent, because I have had to deal with it. Perhaps it stems from thinking that “we” are the only group doing Christianity correctly? Well, not perhaps – definitely. Because I was taught to think that. I was shown to think that if there were people who did not think like the group then they had it wrong and needed to be told they had it wrong or else. Well, that just doesn’t work for me anymore.
I have heard and shared this illustration many times – if I was on a deserted island and was just handed a Bible with no other knowledge of Christianity, God, Faith or Religion would I come up with what I believe and practice now? That is an honest and worthwhile question because it points the questioner back to and only to the inspired Word of God. It doesn’t make me a liberal or a false teacher or any other words we carelessly throw around. But because of these words and others like them, that type of a question is a scary one for some people. Because not being accepted by the group or being ostracized by the group is a scary place to be. So, too frequently people continue to live in the fear and darkness of their doubts and questions instead of searching for the light bringing truth found only in God’s Word.
I often flip back and forth between those two worlds. I know that every time I write about a question that I’m working through it troubles people and those people develop opinions about me. Sometimes I hear about them, but I know that usually they prefer to just speak to their friends about me instead. However, there are times like this week when I get notes from people from all over the world. People who I don’t know and have never met that will fight through their tears just enough to write and thank me for my thoughts. And then go on to share their story of living in the dark because they are scared of what stepping out into the light will bring.
Well, this is my line in the sand. I invite you to join me in the Light of God’s Word and not man’s opinion on God’s Word. There are sure to be times when my conclusions are wrong and I need to be shown my error. But I will no longer allow my fear to dictate my pursuit of the Truth of my Savior. His death is worth too much to me to do that anymore. Because you know, the line in the sand for me is this realization: I am so much more afraid of having to stand before God and seeing disappointment in His eyes because I lacked the Courage to stand up for Him and to be an advocate for those are not able to stand up for themselves than I am afraid of some people who hide behind words that have been stripped of the Love of Christ.
So from now on, through God’s grace and mercy, I will live in the light of His Word. I will rest in the Peace found in His care. I will allow His strength to overcome my weaknesses. I will strive to live out the motto that many of us have accepted – to speak where the Bible speaks and be silent where the Bible is silent. But above all else, I will live each day of my life to do the best I can to fulfill the two laws that my Savior says are the greatest: to love the Lord my God with my Heart, and with all my Soul, and with all my Mind. And to love my neighbor as myself.
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