One of my favorite things in life is to sit in the middle of a theological discussion where people are disagreeing with one another with all the rules of etiquette in play. Not really!
Here’s what I understand at this moment. We live a world of dynamics and the dynamics of love and relationships run through everything God created. Which, uh, is everything. Because people have an abridged view of their world, they can only see the pieces that relates to or confirms them in some way. It’s looking at life like a pencil sketch. They see the outline without any fill.
It’s hard to see the rivers of truth and love that run through it all connecting and sustaining everything by the One who gave it that life. The evidence of Truth that lives in the river is hidden from those who will not pursue the river’s testimony that requires them getting off their bank.
For example, there’s these two riverbanks, Calvinism and Armenianism. No, it’s not a flu strain! These are prominent opposing views about the sovereignty of God, Calvinism; and the sovereignty of man, Armenianism.
Both sides are right in what they assert and both are wrong in what they deny. Calvinism has an over emphasis in the sovereignty of God while Armenianism has an equal enthusiasm for man’s sovereignty. If one important truth is presented at the exclusion of another equally weighted truth, it becomes error and loses its hold on our conscience. The river of scriptures gives us a doctrine more human that Calvinism, more divine than Armenianism and more Christian than either of them.
Here’s what I notice about that.
Essentially, all dogmatic thought lies in seeing only the sketchy outline of one river bank while disallowing the other side, and ignoring the river that runs between them. We define truth by the outlines described in our doctrines. If it cannot be described or does not meet with our criteria of understanding, it cannot be true.
This is why it’s so easy to believe lies.
Man is predisposed to darkness, because of his sinful heredity. His disposition toward truth and righteousness is bent through the lens of darkness resulting in him trusting in the lies produced by the process and mistaking it for truth. This makes lies very powerful as an accusing force against him.
Religious lies are especially destructive for they focus on man’s condemnation and send him out into the arena of gladiators where performance is critical to survival. Do nothing and you will die. Be on guard while you stealthily wield your weapon and you live, maybe even get the “thumbs up” from the emperor du jour.
And so on and on he goes, deluded by what he perceives as approval, is sadly only separation personified.
That’s the way I see it . . .