Greetings. I’d like to acknowledge that it’s been weeks since my last post. There are a multitude of reasons for this, but it largely comes down to two. First, I’ve been working pretty hard on building a website for The Bridge (shameless plug). Secondly, I’ve been going through a transformation of how I see the world. Changing the way I see things that I thought I had a firm handle on, changing the way I feel about the big picture of churchdom (just passed up on a perfectly good opportunity to say churchdumb), and changing the way I see my responsibility as a believer. While most of this is relevant to the title of this post, I’ll wait to expound on it in great depth at time to be determined. For now, let’s get back to this issue of semantics.
In my last post, I challenged you to consider your definition of church; worship; Christian; and sacrifice. I also asked a few questions such as “Has society become so tolerant that everything is open to interpretation?” and “Does having no absolutes bring us closer together or push us farther apart?” I can remember sitting in English 101 my freshman year of college and the teacher telling the class that ‘there are no absolutes.’ I remember thinking even then as an 18 year old ’that’s not true’. I also remember in my Sociology class that the Professor was trying to make a strong case that there’s no such thing as ‘normal behavior’ and that things like homosexuality, transsexualism, and even pedophilia should be accepted in mainstream society. That was nearly 15 years ago at a relatively conservative university. I can only imagine what’s being taught today…
I believe that there is without a doubt a set of absolutes in this world. A set of absolutes governed by the laws of the universe, which is the Word of God. I believe that there is a standard of living laid out in the scriptures which addresses our mental, spiritual, and physical well-being. I believe that if anyone seeks the truth in these areas, they’ll find Him. We must not allow our culture to erode into one of anything goes. God is very clear that without a revelation, the people will have no restraint; without restraint the people perish and are exempt from being blessed. While I won’t dive into the controversy of what my Sociology professor was trying to convine us of, other than to say I couldn’t disagree more, what I am saying is that we cannot allow ourselves to believe that everything is optional and relative. While it’s a freedom we have to agree or not to agree with the word of God, it doesn’t mean there aren’t consequences for being wrong.
Regarding the list of words from last week, I want to give you what the Word says about church and worship. These two words have a tremendous amount of confusion and misinformation surrounding them and have lost some power among belivers.
Church- Church was always supposed to be a reference to the entire global body of Christ; church was never meant to define a building, a denomination, or something that you have or attend. Understand that when you read things like 1 Cor 12 or hear Jesus pray in John 17 that those scriptures apply to the kingdom of believers across the world. While the church may meet in different physical locations because of it’s size and scale, it should not be implied that we should operate independently of one another. The goal of the kindgom is unity under the cause of Christ. Just think of what it would look like if every local body of believers, even in just America, got on the same page and operated as one corporate unit. What couldn’t get accomplished? We must become one.
Worship- God is very clear that He gets no pleasure in religious traditions such as simply showing up on Sundays or throwing cash in an offering plate. (Isiah 1) Worship is also not just the act of singing ‘christian songs’. Someone the other day tried to tell me that worship is when you sing slow songs in church. It can be, but let me give you a better definition. In Romans 12, Paul tells that “to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is true worship.” What’s that mean? When we allow every thought, every decision, every action to be driven by our love of Christ and desire to be conformed to His character, that is worship. Deciding to read the Bible instead of watch TV? Worship. Meeting the need of someone in a tough spot financially instead of going on a frivolous shopping spree? Worship. Rejecting the urge to indulge your flesh because of how it may damage the name of Christ, regardless of whether or not it’s a sin? Worship. Worship is always a choice. Whether it’s to stand during corporate worship through song at a gathering, or whether it’s living out the Great Commission. In all things, to choose him instead of us is worship.
To summarize; yes I believe in absolute truth and believe that we must fight the urge to to believe that everything is relative and matter of opinion. Also, I believe that to suggest semantics is trivial is to suggest that truth is optional. It’s critical to find out what the authority says about matters of faith, family, and moral code. The only authority we have and need is the Word of God. I thank those of you who hung in there for this lengthy read. I know one of the cardinal rules of blogging is ‘don’t be too lengthy!’ but sometimes important things can’t be condensed for the sake of literary etiquette.
As always, I appreciate your feedback and your support. Feel free to leave a reply!