Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Sum of it All

It is hard to believe that yesterday marked three years since I started this blog as a place to share thoughts, slices of my life, and things God is showing me. I wanted to keep it personal, not tied into my position as pastor, to give me freedom to share things separate from our fellowship—maybe thoughts on a candidate, etc. I had hoped for a "community" to form with lots of comments and sharing back and forth, but that hasn't happened, and that's OK. Now and then (often when I'm about to quit the blog) someone will tell me it really touched or helped them and I'll get a little fire to continue as I'll realize it is being read, and is doing some good. Well, this post is sort of a "sum of it all" for me. I know it's rather long but, hey, it's only once a year you get to "sum it all up" . . .

Reflecting on these three years and the things that have happened in them in the world, in my life, and on this blog, I think I am noticing something that is at the center of almost every issue we face. It is the absence of absolutes. It is really stunning in its simplicity, but that is the sum of it all, in a way. If you look around at the world and the issues in our nation and the lives of many Christians it can be summed up as revolving around absolutes, or the lack of.

Interestingly (and encouraging to me) is that as it seems the world is heading farther and farther from recognizing absolutes, and farther and farther into a realm of opinion and tolerance and relativism, I have noticed myself becoming even more firmly convinced of the absolute truth of Genesis (Creation and the Flood), and hence the Bible, and hence of God—to borrow an expression on a t-shirt I was given, "God said it. I believe it. That's settles it."

Whether the issue is gay marriage, abortion, adultery, fornication, how we use our time, how we use our resources, what we vote on, what purpose we find in our life, what we think about things like miracles today or spiritual warfare or the origin of life, or whatever, it really comes down to one of two things. Either everyone has a valid opinion, and everyone's opinion is equal, and we can argue into infinity with each other about our opinions . . . or God has something to say about something and what He says matters, and what we say doesn't. That's it, really. If God is real, and if His Word is trustworthy, then what He says defines right and wrong. President Obama (or anyone else) can express his stands on issues and give his opinions on them all he wants. If God is real, and the Bible is real, and the President's opinions don't line up with God's, then he is wrong. Plain and simple.

I hear way too much these days that begins with, "I think . . ." or "I feel . . ." or "In my opinion . . ." Honestly, it really doesn't matter to me. (I care about you, so what you think and feel is important to me to help me understand you, but not in affecting my views.) Why? Because Jesus said that God alone is good. Therefore if He is real then He alone can define good and right. So all that really matters is if I am aligned with Him or not. Even our evangelism is so wishy washy and arrogant. We "persuade" people to "try" Jesus. Either He is real, and He is holy, and galaxies are birthed in Him, and He speaks and worlds are created, and if we come into His presence our way and not His we are consumed .  . . or He's not. That's it. Period. If those things are true it is sheer arrogance and pride heading to damnation to "decide" if we are going to trust Him, or believe Him, or follow Him, or to decide on moral issues based on our opinion instead of what He says. And if He's not real, and not those things, then party on. Debate ad naseum your opinion against another's and realize in the end it doesn't matter because we'll all die and feed worms and that's the end. Or, as Paul wrote, "What do I gain if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts at Ephesus? If the dead are not raised, 'Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.' " (1 Corinthians 15:32)

I was really awakened the other day listening to an audio drama (Jonathan Park) that our family enjoys when they took quotes from Darwin's life chronicling his journey from religion to evolution and total rejection of Jesus. He rejected Genesis, then the Bible, then Jesus. It was a journey, and I see that happening all around us. It is sad, because if the evidence were simply shown, without the bias and tainting of scientists trying to squash and conform it into their millions and billions of years framework, it would clearly point to a literal Creation and flood as described in the Bible. But, we have made bad science our god, and from it rejected the Bible, and from that rejected absolutes. And, it is a rejection of absolutes, stemming from a rejection of the Bible, that has us exactly where we are now—a sea of opinions and a worship of college degrees that we call "enlightenment" but which are really journeys into darkness.

Isn't it funny how many people reject an absolute standard of right and wrong, but are the first to cry out, "It's not fair" or "It's not right" or "this should be allowed and not that" or who profess to be right and that others are wrong? By what standard? Says who? Even more funny (because if I don't laugh, I'll get angry or cry) are the number of professing Christians who claim to believe in a God and absolutes, and then live (and speak) based on their opinions and sense of right and wrong, and not on His. I don't know. Maybe I'm getting cranky, but a person's opinion, including my own, matters less and less to me the older I get. I just want to know, "What does God say?" and then make that my own. His opinion is all that matters. He alone is good. And, I guess, that is the "sum of it all" for me. Life is too short to waste days and years of it chasing vain ideas and opinions. Let God be God, and don't try and be Him for Him. He alone is worthy and our lives are best spent worshipping Him, following Him, sharing Him, and standing for Him, no matter the cost in this world—we have all of eternity to share in the pleasures He has prepared for us.


  1. I hear FAR too often (like every day) believers in various deities speaking like they're right, they know they're right and everyone else is mistaken. I'm glad to see absolutes go. I think there are a few absolutes (1=1 and such) but as far as spiritual matters and deities go, there are clearly no absolutes. You can believe that your deity is absolutely true and its morality is the only real morality, but you certainly can't prove it. To pretend something is an absolute is fine, but that certainly doesn't make it an absolute (except in your mind perhaps). What you really want is for everyone else on this planet to agree with you and make what you consider an absolute to be their absolute. it's just not going to happen and that's most likely a good thing.

  2. Hi Jimmy. I completely get what you are saying, from the point of view you are saying it from. I used to be in that place and feel the same way. Obviously my blog describes my journey, and comes from my world view. We all react and form opinions from our world views. Most of my readers share my world view in some form. Obviously, from my world view (which you are very familiar with from past conversations), what I am saying is right. If there is a God, and if He is the God of the Bible, and if all those things about Him are true---and I believe all of that---then what I am saying is also true---He defines right and wrong as our Creator and the author of life. He is the defining line and all the arguments about right and wrong apart from that are nonsense. Coming from your world view I would completely expect you to disagree with me. Again, when I help your world view I would have disagreed with me, too :0) Have a great day and weekend. Love on that beautiful family and enjoy your time with them!


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