Monday, April 21, 2008

Idealist...to be or not to be?

That is my question. I got into an interesting argument about Biblical truth this weekend. I understand that arguments do no one any good, but it was eye-opening for me. Not that my opinion was changed about the issue, but I was bombarded with a completely different worldview than my own. There is actually a group of people, a school of thought-if you will, that chooses to take a different perspective on the world and its current state.

As I was recapping the prior night's events with a friend of the different worldview at church the next day, I was moved to tears as I explained to him the reasons for my passionate opinions on matters of God and Truth and Man. I was pigeon-holed by my friend, and maybe rightfully so, as an idealist. I see things in black and white. I want sin called what it is. That is important to me. Mainly because I think it's important to God. Let me finish before you start preaching grace at me. I think sin is important to God for two of maybe many reasons: 1. It's less than His best. It flies right in the face of the Truth of who He is when we believe the deception that causes us to sin. 2. It separates us from Him. He loves us too much to be complacent about this. Because He's holy and cannot dwell in the same space as sin. Without the cleansing redemption of Christ's blood, we're all wretched anyway.

I want God's best...period. I'm with John Piper in Christian Hedonism. You'll have to google that one. I believe Jesus when He said He came to give us abundant life (John 10:10). So I want that life. For myself. For my family and my friends. For everyone in the world. So yes, when people are living in utter deception, whether it be to strongholds of cult belief, addiction, homosexuality, insecurity, fear, I hurt. It gnaws at me like a thorn in my heart.

But it's hard. People don't like to hear that. People from the opposing school of thought are really good at accepting people. I admire this about them. I wish it were more natural to me. They accept almost everything as it is. There's a freedom to that...but I'm not built that way. I have to work for change. I can't help it. I think about improvement...always. Without idealism, there's no drive for positive change. So I know I have it for a reason...but I also know I need to move a little toward the other side. I need to be able to leave things be. I need to let people be who they are, let God be who He is, and remember who I am in light of these things.

I don't want to recite the AA prayer here, but Lord, I do ask that you grant me the wisdom to find this balance.

3 comments:

Dave said...

I think I'm with you on this one. Sin is sin, there are no "degrees" of sin...at least in God's eyes. If I choose to lie to someone, or if I choose to murder someone, it's sin. It's equal, though we humans have brainwashed ourselves/Satan has convinced us otherwise that a lie is not the same degree of sin that murder is...it IS! Black and white, it is that simple! So for you to say you see in black and white, means you have a gift. You see truth for what it is, and sin for what it is...don't let the world/Satan change that!

Everyone is some type of "-ist". It's a way of labeling people, judging people, figuring out what circle someone should be placed in, socially. I believe it's almost just a way for adults to call people names, without the "negative" impact "traditional" name calling can cause (kind of sarcastic, but I think there is a little truth it that).

You don't have to accept people. I don't believe God calls us to love everyone like you'd love a spouse. Instead we need to tolerate people using love as our foundation. And there is a difference there! Say I befriend someone who has different sexual preferences than myself. I'll still be a friend to them, but I cannot allow them past a certain point in our relationship/friendship because of their lifestyle they've chosen. And I'll be praying that the Lord will show them their sin, but until the day they repent, they won't be as close to my heart as someone else can be.

Just some thoughts...

:Dave

Anonymous said...

We are commanded in Scripture to be perfect just as He is perfect (Mt 5:48), so striving for anything less is disobedience, or lack of faith that He can grow us into the maturity He desires from us. So being an idealist seems to me knowing that this is attainable according to Scripture and refusing to be settled in anything less. Not becoming comfortable and complacent but waiting in expectation for the day this will all come, and pushing others alongside you as you strive towards godliness.

Sin is sin, and until recognized as such, you cannot reconcile it. Romans 12 says to "hate what is evil; cling to what is good." But you can't hate evil if you don't admit that's what it is. And whether people like it or not - this is a very black and white issue. We sin. That sin has no effect on whether or not we are loved by Christ and should have no effect on whether or not someone is loved by you. And putting any other option in there is distorting the truth (sin).

And it's supposed to hurt you when people are drowning in their sin - it hurt Christ, and fueled Him to call out to people knowing the despair they were in. It's not supposed to ruin you, but compel you to lead them to their Savior.

Now, you don't have to let things be as they are. There's no basis for that. Tolerating people or accepting them or whatever you want to call it - it's not what Christ did. He loved them. He did not condone their sins but he challenged them to sin no more. And lovingly lead them to the Truth. Call for change, push for change. But know that it's not always going to happen and when it doesn't, you are called to love those people just as much as you love the ones that do turn to Christ. Because conditional love is only going to make a mockery out of who Christ is, and honestly, it makes people want to run the other way. It did me for a long time.

Loving people where they are and wanting more are not mutually exclusive ideas. He has such big plans for people, like David, can you imagine how many people didn't want to accept him because of what he'd done. But then look what he was used for and the love he came to have for God and how the Lord saw him. Every single person has that potential in them - because of God's sovereignty. And so we need to see that in people too, the same way He does. And that will compel us to love them and to lead them to better. Just like Christ did.

probably very far off track now...oops.

LEW said...

Wow, don't apologize! Hear, hear! Very well said, anonymous. Thanks for sharing! That's way better-said than my actual post.