The Scandal of “Either – Or” Thinking

An Ode To Extremes

One of my “favorite” TV Bible teachers (I won’t mention his name, but he often says, “Now listen to me…” – also he has a son in the same city with a church that is significantly larger than his church – you have no idea who I am talking about…) is a guy I love to do imitations of.  I actually do imitations of over a dozen well-known Bible teachers.  Some friends think I’m pretty good at this.

He has been on TV for several decades as of this writing.  Due to the limitations of television’s 30-minute maximum format, a speaker must get in an entire thought in that rather brief segment.  If a relative stranger doesn’t have a context for who the speaker is – values, life story, etc. – it is easy to categorize said speaker. 
 
He has made numerous statements over the years that have been rather extreme.  If given the chance to have coffee for a while I suspect what ended up on the editing room floor would make more sense in an prolonged conversation. 

A typical statement of his might be, “Now listen to me (his signature statement – used several times per message…) – if you don’t do what I say here, you are NOT walking in the Spirit of God.” 

Some thrive on this cooked down teaching style of such a person / format.  I loved this myself for a couple of years as a believer.  Eventually I realized the New Testament is not written from a black and white perspective (for the most part).  Clearly, Jesus does not approach most issues from a black and white perspective.  Indeed, some issues are clear cut lest you misunderstand my conservative take on the scriptures – Jesus made it clear that we are either for him or against him.  We either follow him, walk in his ways or we downright oppose him.  Then again what does it mean to follow him? 

Life often happens beyond the scope of one microscope slide…

Comments

  1. great thoughts on Jesus. He was a revolutionary, he was an extremist, he broke the rules, he always did the unexpected, and he was extravagantly outward focused. He told stories that many did not understand, he took on organized religion, he made friends with the outcast and the marginalized, and it cost him his life.
    He was unlike any other person that has every lived. He loved so us so much that he would die for us. Following that act is not as easy as it seems. Thank God for Grace!

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