emarkthomas

Trying to live love well through the power of the Everlasting.

Maybe I’m Wrong… Part II

So I’ve been reflecting on things; meditating on my values, beliefs, theology, and the like, in light of the TED talk about being wrong. You know, the one I posted about a few days ago. I realized two things:

1) I’m most certainly wrong on several things that I hold dear to. Things I think I’m right about. There have got to be several that I’m mistaken about. Things that I have wrong. However, at this stage of my life, I just don’t know what those things are.

2) I already knew this. It’s true, I’ve acknowledged it for a few years now. I know that my beliefs will change over time. But the thing is, I have no guarantee that they will change to reflect what is true. Also, I can’t force time to change them now. That’s the tricky thing about being limited by time, you know.

Anyway, I was totally underwhelmed by these results. So I kept going, and I typed away for a minute or two to get my thoughts down. Normally I go through what I’ve typed several times, allowing thoughts to fully form or to erase phrases or sentences that need to go. But this time, to honor being wrong about things, I’m not going to edit it at all. I wrote this yesterday. Call it a window into my unedited thoughts, or call it lazy, but here it is:

I think that I’m very likely wrong on several of the things I hold closest to. But I also think that God is more concerned with the heart and motivations than he is the validity of my beliefs. I mean, look at history. And, in deference to those who believe literally that history is exactly-as-the -Bible-lays-it-out kind of thing, let’s only focus on the history covered by the Bible. It is FULL of God interacting with people who are DEAD WRONG about who they believe God is and what he’s all about. But he loves them and interacts with them and calls them justified by faith, etc. And when Jesus comes – the Living God in flesh – wouldn’t you think that he would exemplify what God really holds to be most valuable? Wouldn’t you think that whatever the Messiah said was important in our relationship with the Living God would be the MOST important? And Jesus was all about the motivations; the heart. Loving well. Even if you’re wrong. Jesus did not come to preach a corrective gospel filled with dos-and-do-nots; Jesus didn’t come down to say, “And another thing! You’ve all been parading around believing such-and-such. Well, you’re wrong! Nothing doing, folks! And another thing! And another! And while we’re at it, let’s have no more of this!” (Reminds me of Shift the Ape. That might be a good thing to compare it to. And maybe not. Think on it.)

No, that wasn’t the gospel message. God isn’t a high school history teacher impatiently waiting for the kids in his class to get the right answers. God’s more like a guidance counselor – concerned about the holistic formation and the heart behind what we believe. (Um, maybe need a better analogy than guidance counselor.) Anyway, mark that in the all-models-are-wrong-but-some-are-useful thing as well.

So that was the train of thought for now, Eth. Maybe re-vamp it into a focus more on the gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven, not the Kingdom of Rules, or something like that. You’ll think of a way to say it better. But from there get to the main point: the idea that perhaps being right isn’t something that’s really all that high on God’s priority list. Maybe, instead, the high spot on the priority list is trying to live and love well in accordance with his gospel. Even if we’re wrong. And besides, isn’t the Spirit here to guide us? Give the Spirit time to work. Ah! There’s another idea: mention the idea that perhaps we ought to factor time into the equation, since we’re beings existing in time and all.

Anyway buddy, you’ve got this for now. Come on back and hammer it out better later.

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