Thursday, September 26, 2013

Christian Simplicity

Some things that are believed to be true for years can be proved false in an instant with the smallest amount of evidence.  It was believed for years, for example, that there was no such thing as a black swan.  Then one turned up.  All it took was one.

But there does appear to be a way to hold on to cherished beliefs, even after they are proved false.  This is done through language.  It might be said, for example, that there is no such thing as red bluebirds.  That's easy enough to believe, and easy enough to fix too if you think no bird should be denied blueness.  This is done simply enough by redefining the word blue to include red.  Then we can look around and find that there are lots of blue birds, many of which had never existed before.  But then we might well discover that we have extinted the red bird, which is good I suppose, if you don't happen to care much for red birds.

This is much like what is happening to marriage.  When we decide that marriage means something that it has never meant, we might well discover our language to be inadequate to describe something that had up to now always been.

So much of life is much simpler I think than we give it credit.  It is the language, it seems, that tends to turn in on itself.  There are many Christian teachers, for example, who somehow confuse many by their teaching.  But like the black swan, one verse in the Bible can easily make them false teachers, unless, of course, you change the meaning of the words.  At that point, while you might then find a planet full of Christians, you might be hard pressed to find a Muslim, or a Buddhist.

I find myself similarly dismissing more and more "truths" out of hand these days by simply holding them up to the mirror of scripture.  What's left is not all that complicated really, as long as the language you're thinking with is trustworthy.  It is a difficult and wonderful battle, both within and without, for sure, but there again, the assurance of victory and glory does not weigh on our ability to fight it, and that's some excellent news, ain't it?  
 

2 comments:

Connie Cartisano said...

Thanks for this piece. I appreciate the way you describe how popular culture reframes the issue, and then sells the new package to Christians who buy it, simply because they do not know the Scriptures.
Keep up the good work.

Dan said...

Thank you Miss Cartisano, and thanks for dropping by.