Japanese rubbish took over five years to hit our shores after an earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan’s shores in 2011. Everything from house parts to car parts, about 20 million tons of it were carried across 4,500 miles of ocean.
It took a while, but it eventually got here.
Riding on that hunk of unmoored debris over sixty-nine miles long and 2.2 million square feet wide were a lot of living microorganisms. Feeling safe and content they allowed winds and waves to carry them where they never imagined they would go.
It is a bit like the unmoored world we live in.
In angry voices of rights-grabbing, street-shouting, of not-so-much-peaceful-marching, of God-denial and rebellion, there is an underlying cry for absolutes.
But, Christ-followers, myself included, are often afraid to rock the boat.
Formed by the will and emotion of people, justice is defined and shortchanged by good intentions but unregenerate hearts. True justice is lost in waves of societal emotion, submerged by worldly philosophy, and unrecognizable as truly Biblical. It misses the mark in its compassion because it knows little of the God of Compassion Who is also perfectly Just.
The oily serpent in the Garden revealed Satan’s desire to control, “Did God really say…?” He wanted to be like God. His arrogance twisted God’s commands to make them subservient to his power, and carry them on a tide of deceptive thought.
I am so conscious of this floating hunk of garbage as I look at the church today. It reminds me of the body of believers Paul addressed his letter to in Ephesus, modern day Turkey. Spiritually immature and ungrounded in the Word they floundered in what the world presented as reasonable and compassionate doctrine. Unable to respond, they were tossed by the waves of unrepentant thought. We are not to be like that. Nor do we have to be.
“…Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.” Eph. 4:14 NIV.
Paul encourages the church in Ephesus to not be fearful of sound teaching and doctrine in the face of stormy seas. Despite cries of intolerance, in the face of words that were deemed uncomfortable and judgmental, Paul wrote boldly. He could. He wasn’t sitting in a bed or roses or a suburban home with all the comforts of life. He was in the storm. He wrote from a prison in Rome where he sat because of his faith.
Casting God’s Word to fit popular opinion, does not just undermine Scripture. It undercuts God Himself, His character, His validity, and His Holy nature. An attitude of disregard for Scripture reflects upon our regard for the Author. It dims Holiness, and makes God to be like us, a flawed understanding of how we imagine God should be. We impose our imprint on Him as if He bears our image. And that’s just mixed up.
God is not modeling clay.
“Did God really say?…”
The mis-guided philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre said that life is an empty bubble, floating on the sea of nothingness. Life without God as anchor is life without hope, like a confused bug on a hunk of debris carried who knows where.
Throughout history, there are those who by the strength of God stood firm against the waves of sin. Examples like Noah, Daniel, David and Paul call from the past. National leaders like Josiah who found the Book of the Law in the rubble of the temple brought national revival, through its reading. We have an anchor.
Blow off the Bible dust, and wear its armor. If we represent Him to the World, we must know Him well.
Without it, we the church, the body of Christ may end up where we never imagined we could.
This we must unashamedly declare to an unmoored world, because yes, in fact,…“God did really say.”