Ever notice how preachers try to make their message the centre of your life? Ever wondered why? I think it’s because often that’s honestly how it seems to them. The Holy Spirit has so powerfully revealed something to them it often takes up their whole field of vision so they preach it as the singular answer to everything! It’s not evil but don’t fall for it.
There has to be truths held in tension in the Christian life and in the gospel.
If we take the concept of grace for example – the unmerited favour of God – and make it everything, it’s like taking the string section out of an orchestra and making them their own band. It still sounds great (especially if you love the strings like me) and you can play a lot of what the other instruments would have played on the strings but you don’t even know what you’re missing! The strings may be an essential and integral part of the orchestra but they can not and should not replace it entirely. There may be a time for them to take the lead in a piece or even to do a solo but they need to remain part of the whole. Yes grace is essential to the whole masterpiece of the gospel but to say it’s everything is to rob the gospel of its multi-faceted beauty. This is the same with wrath, justice or severity of God revealed in the gospel.
I think we actually do the same thing with God Himself often, picking Him apart and trying to make one aspect of His person everything that He is. Yes He is loving Abba Father and Daddy God but He is also our righteous judge, our Lord and our master. Yes He is the Lover of our soul and the Good Shepherd but He is also the Rider on the White Horse and the Lion of Judah. He’s not more one than He is the other. He’s God and He doesn’t change. He doesn’t suspend one of His attributes to fulfil another. In the words of A.W Tozer, “All of God does all that God does.”
We’re often quick to branch off into camps of theology or practice because there’s so much uncertainty out there and we think there’s safety in numbers. We sign up to preachers, churches, movements and ministries and look down on any others outside our camp. The problem is that once I pick an aspect of the gospel and ignore the rest, I start the journey into Deception and once I pick an aspect of God and ignore the rest, I start the journey into idolatry.
We need to stop attacking each other long enough to come to unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God (Ephesians 4:13) so we can build each other up in love and reflect His image accurately. He’s not a one-dimensional God after all! As we get a better look at Him and get to know His heart and voice we’ll be less likely to be blown around by the wind (Epheisans 4:14) or run after everyone who claims to have “new” revelation of Him.
P.S Yes I totally get the irony of this post 😉
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Here’s a little video link to a sweet Disney Orchestra!