This is an amazing map. If you watch it long enough you will see light and darkness move across the face of the earth.
And if you look at it closely, you will see the problem cartographers face when they try to convey the round shape of the earth on the flat surface of a map. Since there is no perfect way to do this, the size of the continents is distorted. Some world maps show Greenland as being larger than Australia.
When we try to understand the spiritual realm within the limitations of the physical world a similar kind of distortion occurs, and it causes us to exaggerate minor things and minimize important things.
The New Testament addresses the conflict and confusion that result when the ideas of certain teachers become more important than what God says is important. God’s purpose is “love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith” (1 Timothy 1:5). Sound teaching does not distort God’s word or divide the church. It unites believers and builds up the body of Christ to do the work of God in the world (1 Corinthians 12:25).
All human attempts to explain God are inadequate. Though well intended, some can “flatten” our understanding of the spiritual life and thereby distort our priorities, confuse our thinking, and cause conflict and division.
Perhaps that is what we see happening in Florida. A man who calls himself a pastor is making his agenda (burning copies of the Muslim holy book) more important than the desire and purpose of Christ, who said very clearly that the most important commandment is this: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength,” and the second is this: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” To emphasize, he added: “There is no commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:30-31).
To keep from distorting truth, we must simply believe what God says rather than twist his words to fit our political agenda.
Adapted from Our Daily Bread, 3 October 2009.
Posted by Julie Ackerman Link on Wednesday, September 08, 2010