Sunday, July 20, 2008
Do Not Be Mislead
I was at a gathering a while back where there were a lot of theology majors mingling around and spouting off all their knowledge and their thoughts on God. It seemed as if they were “one upping” one another and they seemed to be generally enjoying hearing themselves talk without really listening to anyone else. What made this situation worse was the fact that their lives did not seem reflect the things that they were talking about. The whole conversation seemed impersonal and Jesus was no where in the picture to be found. It seemed that they spoke quite eloquently about God, as though He were some sort of theory, without talking as if they knew Him at all. It was not intimate.
I am not saying these people did not know Jesus. I am saying that the conversation was lacking some sort of connectedness. It was not grounded in Jesus. I felt lost in a haze of intellectual jargon. I was in a fog of the empty, the intellectual, the irrelevant, the distant, and the impersonal. What agitates me the most, however, is the fact that I know that I have been guilty of doing the same exact thing as they were doing.
In speaking about following and learning from Christ, or discipleship, Paul gives this instruction to his readers in Colossians:
“Watch out for people who try to dazzle you with big words and intellectual double-talk. They want to drag you off into endless arguments that never amount to anything. They spread their ideas through the empty traditions of human beings and the empty superstitions of spirit beings. But that’s not the way of Christ. Everything of God gets expressed in him, so you can see and hear him clearly. You don’t need a telescope, a microscope, or a horoscope to realize the fullness of Christ, and the emptiness of the universe without him. When you come to him, that fullness comes together for you, too. His power extends over everything. ”
Peterson, Eugene H.: The Message : The Bible in Contemporary Language. Colorado Springs, Colo. : NavPress, 2002, S. Col 2:8-10
When I am at my best I simply point to Jesus and look to Him for all clarity. As Paul says, “Everything of God gets expressed in Jesus.” I don’t need to dissect every minute detail, or speak philosophically or intellectually. I do not need to argue or sound intelligent about God at all, as if it impresses Him or brought me or anyone else closer to Him. There is no magic formula or secret books to read to be in deeper fellowship with Him. I don’t have to be brilliant and site multitudes of biblical scholars or theological geniuses to be close to God or to understand God and relate to Him and others. I simply need to look to Jesus. His power and His supremacy and deity expresses all that I ever need to know about God. Jesus and Jesus alone, it is that simple.
Not being mislead, and by His grace, not misleading others,