Walking (Perfectly?) In The Light
I'm getting a little tired of the ongoing argument concerning Baptists, Presbyterians, AG's (etc), and "unrepentant sin". Wade Burleson and Les Puryear have both posted about this, today. Not minding stealing ideas for posts, I thought I'd chip in.
Some years ago I studied Henry Blackaby's Experiencing God study course and had a life-changing experience as a result (sorry, F.A.I.T.H. proponents). One morning the assignment was to take a 20-minute walk with God. At the time, I was getting up at 5am to do the study, so I dressed and went out into the 30 degree morning air. Being February, it was dark.
I noticed several things on the walk. The first thing was that most houses were dark, and they presented a really dreary, almost spooky, presence. Darkness. No life. Couldn't tell if anyone was there. On the other hand, a few had lights inside. They projected warmth and life. They affected my view of the homes. And I connected those two things to my Spiritual life; the Light of the World does the same in my soul. But that wasn't the big deal.
I noted that, in the darkness ... I think darkness may start here in the evening and spread to the rest of the world ... my only light was the streelamp every so often. And what I noticed was that they did not light up the world .. they only lighted up my path far enough to get the the next light.
WOW. I immediately thought of my Spiritual journey, and God immediately told me that was precisely what He's been doing for about 40 years. He gives me just enough light to get to the next light.
I was walking around a street-loop that was about a half mile long. I knew I'd wind up back home if I just followed it. But I noticed that, as I walked, I passed several side streets, and there were lights down there, too. But if I went to those lights, I would be taken further from my goal. So I had to remember what the destination was, so I could avoid following the wrong light.
WOW again. God then said (of course)that the same thing has been happening in my Spiritual walk, too. If I lose sight of the goal, it's easy to follow the wrong light. And that takes me further from my goal, and requires that I back track to even get to where I'd already been before I turned aside.
WOW again. Let me add that the walk lasted a little over an hour......
So I have to ask myself this: what's the destination? Perfection of doctrine? Purity of approach? Orderliness of presentation? Compliance with requirements? Or is it to shed abroad the love of God in our hearts? Or is it to manifest God's holiness and love and compassion and love and righteousness. And love. What IS it? What are we about?
We seem to have reduced ministry to the status of welfare, and excluded loving people .. remember I live around the corner from two of them....from sharing that love. In the name of perfection of doctrine.
On another personal note, I'm glad I'm not a graduate of anything beyond High School. I don't have some of the baggage that seems to have been produced by folks who've lost sight of the destination.
Some of the current controversy seems to come from folks who believe the light in which they walk lights up the whole world for them. Maybe it does.
The light in which I walk, doesn't do that for me. And I don't think I want it to.