Have you ever wondered if perhaps some of our theological views and perpetuity of questioning Biblically established traditions in American society might actually frustrate God? Yay, even tick Him off? Now before you assume I’m against asking questions, take into consideration that this whole piece of writing begins with a question to you, the reader. As you will see, my main point is that perhaps we’re over-questioning things that need not be questioned, but rather should be received and lived with joy because its from God. I also understand that we need to wrestle with certain beliefs in order to truly believe them…sort of. What I mean is, if we are to follow Jesus’ encouragement to be child-like (Matthew 18:3-4 & 19:13-14), does a child wrestle to believe, or does he or she simply believe? Its perhaps one of those both/and scenarios where we need to wrestle a bit when our faith is questioned by outsiders and therefore to “be prepared to give an answer” for faith (1 Peter 3:15-16). All in all, we must be discerning of when, where, and IF we should question certain teachings. On with the show…
Is it just me, or does it seem “politically correct” and even “attractive” to question every value and morally purposeful tradition we have left in the American Church? It seems that if the spiritually “intellectual” in America wish to rip up traditional foundations & long held theological views, we’d better have some Biblically divine & ACCURATE alternatives to repave what is being torn up in what many call “having a conversation”. Could it be that some conversations/questions aren’t always acceptable in God’s sight?
For example, God rebukes man’s self perceived “knowledge” in Job 38:2-3 ”
“Who is this that darkens My counsel with words without knowledge?
Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me.”
Call it literary technique by the writer of Job, OR God’s Word, or BOTH! Any way we look at it, we probably should QUESTION our own heart & mind motives before we question foundations God may have laid through men & women of God who, I propose, were perhaps FAR MORE spiritual & Biblically literate than we are today.
Listen, I’m not saying we as a species have not done some cool stuff in our LIMITED scope of knowledge of the universe. In matters of technology, we have our ancestors beat (or more properly, to thank) by a LONG shot! Kudos to scientists today! But in matters of theology, righteous living and the practice of spiritual disciplines, I think we may be regressing as a whole. Sure it seems many in western culture are fulfilling James 1:27 which says,”Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”
There are mission teams around the world and in their local cities helping orphans and widows in their time of need, and GOOD. But what about that whole “and keeping oneself from being polluted by the world” part? How’s that working for us? So as to not be passive aggressive, I’m talking about sexual immorality (which includes BOTH heterosexual AND homosexual sin), selfishness, love of money, personal gain, pride, blind patriotism of ANY nation or ideology, hatred toward any people, music/movies & media that host spiritual bondage for people from ALL walks of life! The list goes on and on.
In light of Ephesians 6 and Jesus’ revelation of the spiritual realm, there are unseen spiritual forces at work and they’ll stop at nothing to deceive, steal, kill, and destroy every good thing in creation! Make no mistake, we are still in an epic struggle for our souls and humanity! And don’t get on a high horse of ignorant, pointless discussion as to whether or not the devil is real, and “what the implications are if he is.” Just stop! Stop-stop-stoppity stop-STOP!!! Look around you! The manifestations of evil come in many forms and it’s everywhere! Humanity DOES have an evil genetic code called sin, but we aren’t working alone in our collective and individual pursuits of wickedness. Yes, I said WE. Even the Apostle Peter was used by the devil to try and tempt Jesus, so much so that our loving, gentle, and often DIRECT Savior rebuked Peter by declaring “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” Chew on that one for a second! Jesus called Peter, the Rock of His Church, “Satan”! Jesus also associated “the things of men” in the same sentence. Do you think Peter MEANT to be a stumbling block to Jesus? I mean, Peter was defending Jesus and going the way of no violence against his friend, right? Seems noble and righteous to me! Yet Jesus calls him the most horrible name anybody could ever be called! More accurately perhaps, Jesus was addressing the TRUE puppeteer of Peter’s heart DIRECTLY: Satan.
So if Peter, the first “Pope”, and the first one to see 3,000+ conversions in one moment of preaching, can be manipulated by the devil, whats to say you and I couldn’t be manipulated by the devil too? What’s to say our QUESTIONS and CONVERSATIONS are not manipulated by unseen spiritual forces often? Oh, but MY motives and YOUR motives are pure, right? Not according to Jeremiah 17:9-10:
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.
Who can understand it?
10 “I the Lord search the heart
and examine the mind,
to reward each person according to their conduct,
according to what their deeds deserve.
Here’s a sobering reality: If we lack the gift of spiritual discsecessionists ), it may be that we are completely ignorant of who’s manipulating us/controlling the puppet strings. And NO, its not Vladimir Putin, Obama, the Religious Right, or any other often vilified human or human organization. We can’t get away with saying “the devil made me do it”, but we sure can conclude he or some of his henchmen were/are most likely involved! Just read Ephesians 6:11-12!
So what? When it’s all said & done, I think we’re better off simplifying the Word of God to its most basic commands with a whole lot of spiritual discernment: to FIRST love God with all our heart, soul, mind, & strength…no, REALLY. Love Him through obedience to His word and cut the crap of self-justification and “intellectual” smokescreens! We need to properly Teach, Preach, and Hear the Word of God and OBEY Him!
SECOND, we need to love our neighbor as ourself. No, REALLY. Love your neighbor through kindness and help when & where you can!
All else is summed up in these two commands from Mark 12:29-31. So let’s question less, be MORE spiritually discerning, and act on JESUS centered, redemptive, Biblical commands through love more! Everything else is a bunch of bludgeoning the sky with our empty discourse and Divinely defined “words without knowledge,” because seriously, what do we as a species know anyway?