Thursday, September 11, 2008

Something to Think About

I have so many thoughts rolling around in my head these days. As I contemplate the current issues, I can't help but think of the words of the song I posted recently, "So many voices telling me which way to go..." You know, we can get really confused if we flood our mind with conclusions made by those who do not start in the same place. If we just read and think, oh, that sounds good--even "Biblical"--we're bound to go off on a tangent. (I say this from personal experience!) More often than not, I have had to back up and ask myself, "What is this statement based on? It sounds good, but is it based on an assumption that is accurate?" (We all have to start with some basic assumptions since we're not the all-knowing Creator.)

I remember when I first started going to Chicago home school conventions. I'm telling you, there are a lot of passionate people at those conventions. There is a lot of energy put into convincing others of the "proper" worldview. I think most of the time the speakers are absolutely sincere and convinced of the truth of what they're sharing. But every time, I have come home with all sorts of new concepts, and I have had to sit down and study what assumptions the concepts are based on. Wrong assumptions will always lead to skewed understanding.

Last night at church we had a meaningful and thought-provoking discussion. We talked about how, after the Reformation, the number of church denominations exploded. It came up in the conversation that there are now an estimated 36,000 different church denominations in the United States alone! We discussed how sad that is, how it has come about, why it seems to continue, and how we don't want to be a part of furthering that pattern!

As long as we continue the way we (in general as church people) are thinking, discussing, coming to conclusions, it is going to keep escalating. If we do not get to the root of our thinking, and understand the basic assumptions we are making about the Bible and how it is to be used, studied, etc., we will keep coming up with more varying emphases and will feel compelled to start more churches as we gather others around us who choose the same emphasis.

It amazes me how one group can come to a conclusion (like about who to vote for-- in this coming election--or whether to vote at all) and they can list a few scriptures to support their conclusion. Then another group will come to the opposite conclusion and just as easily give verses that seem to support their conclusion. How do we sort through the chaos? Is there any sanity in it all?

I do believe there is. It is in digging deeper into what we assume about the Bible. How do we use it? How do we study it? What is it?

I pray each of us will work to bring unity out of the chaos, as much as is possible in our fallen world.

~ John 17:23 I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, that the world may know that Thou didst send Me, and didst love them, even as Thou didst love Me.