I’d like to quote from an excellent blog post from John Pavlovitz’ blog, “Stuff that needs to be said.”
I hope you subscribe to his blog. I love his approach.
Heresies, Schmeresies, And Letters From Pharisees.
[quoting near the end…]
The tough thing for any of us who seek God and desire to do what’s right, is that we almost never assume for one second that we could possibly be the Pharisees. We never court the idea that we could be faithful, and earnest, and knowledgeable… and wrong.
I try hard to court that idea every single day. Heck, most days I don’t have to try very hard.
Sure, I may have extremely strong opinions about what I believe, and may feel like I’ve done my homework (reading, studying, praying, listening), but I strive to never let that yield a Pharisaic self-righteousness; the kind that so easily calls people I disagree with “heretical”, or the kind that would lead me to write letters or post comments that imply that I’ve figured God out.
I’m always quite willing to believe that I could be wrong.
Just as it was back then, the Pharisees never are. They always have Truth pegged. They’ve shrunken God down, until He’s become small enough to fit into the traditions, and rules, and the neat and tidy answers that they’ve decided settle things for them and for everyone.
Then Jesus comes along and up-sizes God for them.
Maybe my letter-writer is right, and maybe she isn’t. But for her, maybe isn’t even an option, and that’s what worries me about her and about so many Christians in the world today.
Faith is a wonderful thing. The seeking of Truth, the desire to discover God, and the act of translating that belief into a nuts-and-bolts of life are all precious pursuits.
I’m just not satisfied that absolute certainty is ever part of the deal.
Christian, as you seek to live out your religious convictions, be very careful if you begin to think you’ve contained God, or that you speak for Him. Before you write that letter, or post that comment, or feel that moral superiority over another; pause.
You may indeed be absolutely right, but you may also be the Pharisee; devoted and faithful, but wrong.
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Thanks, John, for saying what needs to be said!