Friday, 24 August 2012
When I face a theological view that I disagree with (a view which would change many of my corresponding views if I recognized it as true) I work very hard to discern whether I disagree with it in actuality through exegetical knowledge of the scriptures and reasonableness or merely through fear. Too often we continue to hold the views that we hold out of fear and not faith or any type of reasonable certainty.
This means that what we claim to believe is not the thing we truly believe. We believe in fear at that point. Why would it be fear that we live in instead of what we claim to believe? Simply because it is no longer the view we've held that is important and powerful within our heart and mind but rather it is the opposing view that holds all the importance and power. It it this opposing view which we feel we must stand against lest it bring drastic change into our lives which would bring great discomfort. If this were not true then it would not be our focus.
Perhaps it is the view but more likely it is the consequences of possessing that view which we fear. After all, change is scary, especially when some changes of perspective also mean a change in the expectation of actions and even our own identity. We fear the consequences of that view, or the very view itself, and when it is this motivation that keeps us devoted to our original position, to claiming what we have previously believed, as opposed to the power and faith in the view we've previously held bringing motivation to continuing our possession of that view, we must call the motivation nothing but fear.When we speak more about what we don't believe than what we do believe, or we only state what we do believe in an attacking manner then there is a good chance we are dedicated our belief by the motivation of fear. Those who are not ruled by fear are able to communicate what they believe in with full confidence and without the need to prove the view. A person who is confident in their view knows that if it is indeed true that it will prove itself true whether by it's own power or by the downfall of the opposing view. For is the opposing view is indeed false then it shall eventually come to it's end.
Then, whenever we find ourselves in disagreement with someone over an important view, let us ask ourselves if we disagree because we truly have confidence in what we currently believe and are fully persuaded by it's support or if we are disagreeing because we are afraid to agree. We must be willing to entertain the possibility of agreeing with our opponents if we desire to truly and fully disagree with any legitimate certainty.
The only type of disagreement that can breed an honest confidence in one's position is the kind which derives from having already walked in the shoes of the opposing position and seeing where it leads in terms of consequences. A tried opponent is the only defeated opponent. A tried victor is the only kind of victor. If we are unwilling or unable to entertain a position which is opposed to our own, and entertain the consequences of such a position (in humble honesty I might add) then we know for a fact that we are overcome and ruled by fear and that faith is not the driving force behind our claims.
It is my hope that I, and all my brothers and sisters in Christ, would be able to construct theological views through faith and reason rather than fear. May we never be afraid of change, no matter how intimidating it may be. My we be willing, like Abraham, to lay our firstborn (or what we've come to believe) on the alter, trusting God the entire time, knowing that he leads us faithfully and lovingly so that we may be closer to him in every way.
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