Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Slaying Giants - Entry 5

Using the historical account recorded in 1 Samuel 17 as a metaphor for the cultural battles raging in the nations we next read, “…the Philistines stood on the mountain on one side while Israel stood on the mountain on the other side, with the valley between them.”

Various brands of pluralism and relativism are quite dominant in our age. The appeal for peace through ignorance appears quite inviting. It will not work. Jesus clearly teaches that there will be conflict involved in birthing the kingdom of God (Mt.10:34-36, 24:4-14; Lk.6:22-23; Jn.15:18). Please understand that I am not advocating physical violence. We do not advance God’s kingdom through physical death or defeat. I am, however, emphasizing that we cannot afford to pretend that we all mystically and euphorically stand on the same mountain. There are “sides” in this ideological battle. There is right and wrong, truth and falsehood, good and bad. Francis Schaeffer emphasized the importance of maintaining thesis and antithesis. I would encourage everyone to become familiar with his teaching on this issue. There are opposing ideas. A is not non-A. I realize that most people do not care. That’s part of the problem. I also realize that there is something shy of a movement among the youth culture that is erasing the lines of distinction, that is simply attempting to fill in “the valley between them”. Homogenization might be good for milk (and that’s even questionable) but it is not the answer to the ideological battles that are raging. Mahatma Gandhi seemed to think this was the answer as he is reported to have said, “I am a Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim and a Jew.” Before I finish with a quotation from the book of Isaiah I want to point out that God, who has revealed Himself in Scripture, is, has and will share that which is genuine, real and true while the very effective ploy of Satan is to cleverly disguise a counterfeit in a very appealing costume for the naïve to don. Ignoring of distinctions, homogenizing, embracing pluralism, leveling mountains or filling in valleys might seem like the way to produce peace but this is a counterfeit. There is a mountain that is distinct from all mountains and if we take the aforementioned approach (the increasingly popular erasing of lines of distinction) there is no mountain to invite others to live upon.

“Now it will come about that in the last days, the mountain of the house of the Lord will be established as the chief of the mountains, and will be raised above the hills; and all the nations will stream to it. And many peoples will come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that He may teach us concerning His ways, and that we may walk in His paths.’ For the law will go forth from Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And He will judge between the nations, and will render decisions for many peoples; and they will hammer their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, and never again will they learn war.” (Isaiah 2:2-4, NASB)

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