11 July 2015
Great Expectations – A Pause to Respond – Part Three
Greetings Dear Reader,
Another aspect of the question I got from you Dear Reader was on the issue of social issues that run counter to the teachings in the Bible. I will remind you that I view the Bible as the living Word of God. I believe that it is relevant to all our culture and choices.
I also think that we use it as a weapon more often than a tool. We expect those who do not believe as we do to live by the standards in this book when we do not do that very well ourselves. It is an unjust expectation. We are also hypocritical about it.
None of this changes that the Bible has its own authority. When it speaks on a social issue it speaks the truth. That truth never gives us permission to judge and condemn those who violate the truth. Let me choose something mostly innocuous as an example.
IF the Bible said there was something inherently wrong in eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches then it would be wrong to eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (just so I weighed in, the whole thing about PBJ being racist is just stupid. I will not let a sandwich determine how I feel). That does not mean that if PBJ eaters feel neglect or down-trodden that we can say that PBJ is OK.
More importantly it does not mean that we can judge, neglect, or mistreat PBJ eaters. I am not allowed to migrate from the truth that PBJ eating is bad. I am also required to show unconditional love to every PBJ eater out there. I am required to help them if they have needs. I must feed them if they are hungry, just not a PBJ. I must see that they have health care with it being a “believe then receive” coercion.
When the Bible comments on moral and social standards then those standards are resolute. That never gives me leave to expect those who do not believe to act under those standards. It does give me an example to set. It does show me areas where I must be kind and non-judgmental.
If I place moral and social expectations on someone I damage my ability to show them love. I damage my opportunity to be good to them. If Christ followers focus on the things we do not want others to do we miss the opportunity to do the things they need. Failing to meet the needs of others socially is indeed a violation of the Great Expectations placed on us by God.
Wishing you joy in the journey,
Mat 13:52 So Jesus said to them, "That is why every writer who has become a disciple of Christ’s rule of the universe is like a home owner. He liberally hands out new and old things from his great treasure store.”
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