The problem with philosophy today is that we’ve lost all concept of balance. Our idea of a valid point is taking it as far to the extremes as possible to see if it is in fact still valid. However, theology has generally been regarded as the carefully balanced—a balance for which only God can be attributed—and reliably valid, especially considering the time that it has lasted. Why then do we expect people to take the positions of complete subjugation or invalidation? Christians in particular are expected to believe in absolutes. We are expected to believe in Jesus Christ as the messiah of the Lord, and nothing else. We are expected to believe that God made the universe in six days, and not compromise given new evidence. We are expected to believe that God is in ultimate control of the world, yet we have a free will.
Continually pastors bombard the laity with the idea of absolute truth. In speaking with unbelievers, we expected to espouse our absolute truth as being greater than their simplistic belief, but this is no way to talk to people about our relationship with God. Christianity isn’t about holding so tightly to a belief—that often stands in direct contradiction to other beliefs—that we are unable to see, experience, and tell others about God’s wonder. This is one of the major problems that Jesus had with the Pharisees and Sadducees. They were so enamored with learning the law and applying it to every minutiae of daily life that they forgot why they were given the law in the first place (Matthew 23:5-10, 23-28).
Why do Christians today want to be like those that Jesus worked against? Simply because they probably do not know that they are doing it. While they want to delve deeper into their faith, they are constantly confronted with conflicting instances for which there is little example to turn to. From this, it’s easy to see that they would rather violently defend the beliefs that have been ingrained–which may or may not be compatable when taken to extremes–rather than debate within themselves what these contradictions mean. Christians, more than any other religion, are the most susceptible to division. With the litany of wedge issues present, and a lack of cohesion within the Church, Christians are left to themselves to decide what and how they believe–this often means absolutism. We cannot live this way. God didn’t create the world in absolutes, there is a symbiotic balance that should be celebrated rather than ignored.
Christianity is about balance
- It is not about unconditional belief in Jesus (Romans 5:1), we must also do works that reflect Him working within us such that we are not deceived (James 2:26)
- It is not only about the life of Jesus, but what God gave us before (the Old Testament, which Jesus read and studied and proved Himself by) (Luke 3:29-52), but also what came after (the inspired writings of Paul and the other disciples to help us to know the way to righteous life) (1 Timothy 6:11)
- It is not about unquestioningly accepting what those in power tell you (Mark 12:17), but also about studying it for yourself to fully understand and not be led astray (Isaiah 5:1-7)
- It is not about nit picking over the differences, but about following the only two commandments He gave us: love your God and no one else, and love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:35-40)
- It is not about nit picking, it is about inclusion. Nit picking and differentiating was what the Pharisees and those in the Temple were doing that so angered Jesus that he rebuked and condemned their actions in Matthew 23:23-28
- It is not about how God created the world, it is the fact that He did (Evolution v Creationism)
- It is not about worrying that we’ll never make the cut, but that God graced us with the will to decide whether we’d like to follow Him or be alone forever (Predestination v Free will)
- It isn’t about caring only for oneself, it is about working for others (Proverbs 22:16; Isaiah 1:17; Micah 6:8; Luke 9:23; Romans 12:12)