September 27, 2016

One on One

Paul wanted those who are strong in the faith to accept those who are weak without passing judgment and he specifically mentioned personal opinions about food and drink. In today’s church we encourage each other to express ideas and opinions about all manner of things with little or no regard to the strength or weakness of others. Those of us who are mature in the faith have so much knowledge we want to share with others and yet Paul said, “So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves” (Ro 14:22 NIV). That’s one way to get mature believers to have a one on one with God.

1 comment:

Steve Corey said...


-----Occasionally this almost disturbing thought rolls across my mind: “If you want a teeny glimpse of God, then look into a paradox.” Contrast “Whatever you believe…keep between yourself and God” with “…an apt teacher…correcting his opponents with gentleness,” (II Tim 2:25) and “…whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins,” (James 5:19-20) and “…if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness.” (Gal 6:1)
-----Most of my mother’s family would not eat pork. Many would not even watch TV on Saturday. They believed these things were sins against God’s commandments. They pointed to the Bible for making their case, and sure enough, there these laws were -in the Pentateuch! Such is why they believed. But regardless of any “why” about a belief, a belief is belief because its believer thinks it to be information the Lord Himself has directed for belief. So how is it that we are to keep what we believe about sin and righteousness between ourselves and the Lord, yet we are to correct those we find entangled in sin? Moreover, if we are to keep what we believe between ourselves and God, then who will be a teacher, and encourager, or even an edifier? Aren’t all these things a welling up from the heart of beliefs for sharing with others as a cool drink of water?
-----I was more an idiot when I was a kid than I am now. I actually thought the way to deal with controversy between people was to sit down with your opponent and a piece of paper on which each lists out all the elements of the controversy, lists all of the facts of every element, lists all of the scripture dealing with every fact, runs that all through the process of logic, and regards highly what results. I’m still looking for someone who’s willing to do that with me, or with anyone else. I don’t keep paper handy anymore. Do any of us actually think thoroughly before we believe? Or do we believe something just because it feels good, or because we’ve heard it so often, or because we’ve heard it from Joel Osteen, Rick Warren, or Royal Cola Sproul. What ever happened to: “I heard it from the Bible?” Oh yah. That puzzle has to be assembled. We’re not real good at puzzles. Lo, they involve thinking, logic, facts, analysis and such.
-----Therefore, depending upon the mood of the situation, we either keep everything from everyone like a good Presbyterian, pew potato, or we throw our faith into everyone else’s face like Jehovah’s Witnesses, or Church of Christers, or like I do. Solving the paradox is just too difficult for finding any space between these two extremes.
-----I wonder, now, if the key to the paradox might be found in not taking one’s own self all that seriously. Knowledge is a prideful thing. Righteousness is even worse. Paul said we know in part and see dimly. For me, good discussions gather material for fun thinking. Thought trimmed by God’s Word grows like a vine. But not even all my trimmed vine’s fruit is plump and ripe and good for everybody. God accepts every caller-on-Christ according to his desire to be saved more than upon his accuracy of knowledge. I think some amount of Ecclesiastes’ nature applies here: there’s a time for silence and a time to speak. Maybe it is less that we should know when is for which than it is to feel ourselves less and each other more, then the Lord can move from us what He feels some situation needs.

Love you all,
Steve Corey