Time for a Faith Lift: Your opinion does not make it true. February 3

Have you ever heard the old phrase “Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has a couple and they usually both stink.” In the last 40 years, with 24 hour new channels on cable and talk shows to “discuss” current events, opinions tend to saturate our lives the more we are exposed to them. Add in Jerry Springer, Judge Judy, and the “Big 4” channels offering their own brand of entertainment and we begin to see how opinion is preferred to truth… and how we have confused informed debate with arguments and insults. Ultimately we fail to see how the Church has progressed from being a place where truth in love is preached and has become a place where opinions about Jesus are louder than the Holy Spirit we claim speaks to us.

1 Corinthians 1:10-17 contains a directive from the Apostle Paul to be united, agree with each other, avoid divisions, etc. His examples are over who is following who and which leaders are better and make them more relevant. While growing up in a church of “well known” pastors, I can still tell you who certain people flocked to for insight and advice, and who others thought were the best preachers etc. I have to confess, looking back at any of them, none of them fed me, encouraged faith, or contributed to my success as a Christian… only as a professional, a student, an administrator. Division within the church seldom produces more churches, only less people. Church splits over theology, leadership, and carpet choices are only a few reasons that people leave an organization that looks less and less like a “fold of sheep” with a Good Shepherd, a family of brothers and sisters that are “children of God”, and a “Body with many parts” that function together with Christ as the head.

Paul, while we may believe it is ridiculous to assert full agreement, has the answer. Agree on what we believe. You might ask, “How is belief different than opinion?” Personally held belief is personal, intimate, and passionate. Opinion is often driven by pride, perception, and popularity. It is how the same statement is accepted and rejected by a group based upon who is stating it. Belief drives us deeper to strive for better, where opinion only drives us where the winds blow. The core is Christ.

We forget too often that our belief and core teaching is to be the Bible. The Word of God. Notice it is not “the Words of God”, plural, a collection of thoughts and phrases. It is a single Word. It is not to be picked apart, chosen to be used to form it our own creation. It is clear, complex, and it is what chronicles the transformation of a world lost into those who were found. We draw lines to divide, God draws circles to include. We use scripture to support our opinions, God uses His Word to provide truth to correct the deception we receive. The same Word of God that corrects us is the same Word that comforts. Good parents are the same people who hold their children close when they fall and injure themselves as the ones who tell them “I told you not to do that. If you had listened, you would not be hurt.”

As we look to becoming more like Christ, our focus needs to remain on what is makes us Christlike and avoid focusing on what is making us Americans or foreigners, Democrats or Republicans, male or female, rich or poor, or anything else that divides the world into “Us and Them”. Imagine a church filled with people who looked like, acted like, and loved like the One who seeks to save instead of resembling an angry mob, The People’s Court, or Congress arguing over who is right and who should have the power.

Our opinions should not take precedence over the truth of the Good News but they are. It is our opinions that are keeping others from seeing Christ and only seeing the same thing in the Church that they see outside of it. When we strive for the perfection that we are called to in Christ, others will see the perfect love of Christ instead of the perfectionism they already see, and cannot satisfy, in the world. We can be the embodiment of “preaching the Gospel at all times, using words if necessary”.

Do my views match the media or The Master? Do I need new lenses?

Who do I trust to inform and inspire my thoughts, attitudes, and actions?

Does my speaking in private and in public match the Biblical standard set for “speaking the Truth in Love“?

Looked down from a broken sky
Traced out by the city of lights
My world from a mile high
Best seat in the house tonight
Touch down on the cold black-top
Hold on for the sudden stop
Breathe in the familiar shock of confusion and chaos
All those people going somewhere, why have I never cared
Give me your eyes for just one second
Give me your eyes so I can see,
Everything that I keep missing,
Give your love for humanity.
Give me your arms for the broken-hearted
The ones that are far beyond my reach.
Give me Your heart for the ones forgotten.
Give me Your eyes so I can see.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Step out on the busy street.
See a girl and our eyes meet.
Does her best to smile at me.
To hide what’s underneath.
There’s a man just to her right
Black suit and a bright red tie.
Too ashamed to tell his wife he’s out of work, he’s buyin time.
All those people going somewhere, why have I never cared.
Give me your eyes for just one second
Give me your eyes so I can see,
Everything that I keep missing,
Give your love for humanity.
Give me your arms for the broken-hearted
The ones that are far beyond my reach.
Give me Your heart for the ones forgotten.
Give me Your eyes so I can see.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
I’ve been there a million times
A couple million lives
Just moving past me by, I swear I never thought that I was wrong
But I wanna second glance so give me a second chance
To see the way you’ve seen the people all along
Songwriters: Jason David Ingram / Brandon Heath
Give Me Your Eyes lyrics © Peermusic Publishing, Essential Music Publishing

 

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