Saturday, June 12, 2010

Weeds In Our Lawn

When I was a kid I was paid by my grandparents to dig up dandelions out of their yard. In the beginning I was very young and I would pull the tops off. As I got older I learned that you needed to pull out the roots, too or the weeds came back. Grandpa had tool that looked like a long goofy screwdriver with a forked blade on the end that he wanted me to use. I have to admit that even with the “professional” tool I rarely got all of the root so the dandelions just grew back.

Today’s church is a lot like my grandparents yard. Sometimes the weeds just keep growing back because we rarely get to the root of the issues. These weeds sometimes aren’t even sins they are just divisive attitudes that… Oh wait, those are sins, too! Hummm…

Often the problem is that we can quote lots of verses of Scripture (or we have a pretty good topical Bible) but we have a hard time applying the truth or even recognizing that the passages we quote are often pointed back at us more then others.

The question for today is: Does the Bible have a strangle hold on the truth? In other words can truth (or at least portions of truth) be found outside of the Bible or is the Bible the only repository of truth?

The short answer (much to the chagrin of some ultra conservative Christians) is Truth can be found outside the Bible – but the Bible is fully true and Jesus is the Living Truth.

For example the entire story of Jesus, his words and deeds are not contained in the Bible (nor for that fact are they contained in any other book) The writer of the fourth book of the New Testament in his self titled book the Gospel of John says that

25 Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.
John 21:25 (NIV)

Other instances of truth are the scientific laws of the universe that are not found in Scripture but are still equally true. The writer of one of the smallest books of the New Testament is Jude. In his book aptly named Jude he quotes from Enoch an apocryphal book written during the 400 silent years between the two testaments. Is the quote true? Yes! Another instance is that the author of a major portion of the New Testament is Paul. Paul quotes writers of his day in the Scripture because the information is true.

A great way of establishing a dialog with someone who is not a follower of Jesus is to find an area of common interest where you can establish a dialogue as Paul did when he was in Athens and he conversed with them about an altar that they had to an unknown god. Paul used this altar to present the claims of Jesus and the Gospel of His Kingdom.

A final thought in truth finding is that one needs to realize that all people still carry the marks of divine creation in them. Oh to be sure we are all broken, but in our brokenness we care shards of God’s original intent. Just like a broken and cracked mirror can still reflect an image. It just can’t reflect every part of it accurately. Even now followers of Jesus and non-followers reflect broken disjointed images of the creator. Occasionally we will stumble on a great truth that just for a moment gives us a fleeting glance of the Truth of God and His image reflected in a fallen creation.

Instead of frightening us or reflecting poorly on us – it helps to remind us of Imago Dei and that one day He will restore all of creation back to His original intent.

Here’s hoping that one day we will do a better job reflecting the true nature of our Savior!

With God’s help

Pastor Val

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