Perhaps the greatest irony of this quote is that it is credited to a man who fancied himself a comedian of sorts. Not very funny stuff. The thought demonstrates both the desire that we possess to be thought of as thinkers coupled with the more difficult side of thinking that brings the hard work. Recently I talked to a man who for my entire life has and continues to help form and inform the way that I see faith. In our discussion he basically highlighted the same truth… when you write… you expose yourself to people’s harshest criticisms. I suppose it is also why the Bible warns those who teach spiritual content to walk circumspectly. With this extra amount of responsibility comes an extra dose of danger. So, my father asked me, “Are you sure you want to do this?”
I don’t remember my exact words back to him, but they went something like this… It’s not about “want to”. It’s about “have to”. I know that not every one who can write should write. And not everyone who can think should write. The truth is that I write the way I do because many other brave women and men that I have read dared to do so. My love for reading has spawned in me a love for words. I understand the warning given in the book of James that out of the same mouth can come both amazingly empowering as well as irreparably damaging speech. And that’s the crux of it. I must challenge my friends and contemporaries and those I have served and those who have taught me well.
It is highly likely that our time here on earth is limited. I know the Scriptures say that “some will not see death”, but let’s be equally honest, the majority of us will. I have always been the guy who liked to be liked… I still am. At the risk of sounding callous though, I am willing to risk my greatest fear (not being liked or worse) in order to get us to rethink what being Christian really means. Is there a danger here? As I see it, yes. The greatest danger is that we do nothing… that we refuse to rethink our positions or stances or at least, the ways in which we present them. We may come out the other end with mere tweaks, but in the rethinking and learning to hear someone else’s perspective… there is high value. So, the greatest danger in rethinking… is not doing it.
3 thoughts on “The Danger In Rethinking”
So the question is, why do you believe there is danger in not re-thinking? Or rather, what has convinced you that a re-think is necessary? Do you think we need to challenge age old notions of what it means to be a Christian, or is the current state of the church veering off of established rails and it needs to be brought back?
Some might challenge you and say that the greatest danger is thinking too much that we lose the Gospel, believing that the current church represents the Gospel well.
In fact, I agree with you that we need to re-think- but I think motives and goals should be clear. In my case, I’ve seen a wide gulf between those churches that focus on “truth” and those that focus on “love” (sometimes with a very human definition of what that word means). In fact, I’ve felt what it is like to not measure up to the standards of those who claim to be focused on the truth, and that caused me to question the “standards”.
Really, I think “love” is the crux of what it means to live as a Christian, but oh how challenging it is to really define that word when there are so many definitions flying around. Some will tell you it means to do “whatever is in your heart” while others will tell you it means “whatever I tell you” (though usually stated as “what scripture says”, but meaning “what I say scripture says”).
Anyway, that’s where I’m at and why I think re-thinking is critical.
Love this post! Christianity, sanctification, faith, God. These are all words who have different (and more significant) meanings in my life today than they did 5 years ago. Why? Because knowing God is not a static operation. It is living, moving, and life changing. I think some fear re-thinking because they loose the security of tradition. Sanctification is not a “security” process. Without open heads and hearts we may miss the greatest things that God has for us. God has placed strategic people in my life to cause me to re-think a lot. This has been a healthy spiritual process for me because it has caused me to search for true biblical answers and not simply spew the traditional ones.
God will only take you in sanctification as far as you are willing to let Him. Keep God in the confines of His Word. His character holds Him there. But be careful not to put God in your man shaped box. He is far bigger than that. Ask the real questions of God and His Word. Be so careful of spewing traditional and denominational answers. God is not a tradition or a religion . . . He is a relationship. As we celebrated yesterday, He is ALIVE! Don’t confine Him to lifeless religion. Let the Bible be your final authority on who He is. In the end apply one of the greatest pieces of advice I was ever given. Know your Bible. Know it well. When it is absolutely clear, obey it without wavering. Never take it further than it goes, nor make it say something that it does not.