Forklift Theology

Faith musings from the seat of a forklift.

The View

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We all have a “certain” view. Mine is, quite plainly, from the seat of a forklift. I admit, it is not the best view in the world. It is, at times, an obstructed viewed. I have to look through the mast of a forklift, past chains, grease, and hydraulic lines. However, this is the only view whereby I can do my job, which I have been doing for well over a decade.

Sadly, how we view things goes beyond the mere concept of what we do and do not see. Yes, that is one type of view, but there are other types of views. How do we view the world around us? How do we view other people? Depending upon where you grew up, and what your cultural background is, you may hold any number of viewpoints.

These viewpoints can range from believing that the Seattle Seahawks are a great football team (I live near Seattle, thus my naming them, insert your own team and sport as you like). If you are an American and grew up during that time, it could be that you still hold the Cold War beliefs of Russia and China being our enemies. Another view might be that the person (people) who keep parking their vehicle in front of your house are heartless jerks. These are just examples, and this list is not all inclusive.

Another area in which people have a point of view is the church and its teachings. Sadly, this is where things really get difficult when dealing with points of view. Some people are hateful of the church, often due to a lack of understanding regarding what the church teaches. Other do not misunderstand, rather for reasons of selfish pride and arrogance due to a lifestyle of sinful behavior, hate the church and its teachings. There is are even those within the church who hold different viewpoints regarding what the teachings of the church really are, and this is where we get into the whole mess of denominationalism.

I have, over the course of many years, been involved in multiple debates on various church doctrines. I would, naturally, contend that my position was Biblical. However, so too would those whom I would debate. In such situations, it is difficult to refrain from taking an elitist view of your being right and their being wrong. I find that even if I attempt to do so, others are not nearly as likely to show such restraint. In some cases, I may attempt to defer to a historical teaching by those more versed than myself, only to find the historical teaching blatantly rejected.

Many modern Christians are very quick to reject the historical teachings of the Christian faith for many reasons. Some churches do not condemn homosexuality due to pressure from outside the church, never mind the Bible’s clear teaching that such behavior is sinful and those who engage in it are living in unrepentant sin. Some churches espouse doctrines in which the genuine scriptural evidence is quite lacking. Such is the case with the sacred cow known as “the rapture”, of which I have written of previously, noting what the historical position of the church has been prior to the 1800’s, a view which many modern Christians reject in favor of escapism, as it would be called by those holding a view that espouses the historical teachings of the church.

In this regard, I confess that I am a confessional Lutheran. This means that I accept the Holy Bible as infallible and inerrant. It also means that I accept the unaltered Augsburg Confession as a true and reliable summary of the proper, correct, and appropriate teachings of the church. Thusly, I am one of those who espouses the historical teachings of the church, insofar as those teachings agree with scripture. This sums up my viewpoint as a Christian. No, I do not believe that the Augsburg Confession is scripture, rather it points to scripture and how it should be understood.

One thing we need to note when looking at viewpoints is that there is always the prospect of being wrong. Christ Jesus told his disciples “first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye”. Truly, Jesus was discussing how we judge people, however, he also made it clear that we should right about our position first before we attempt to tell others that they are wrong. We judge people and viewpoints daily. However, we should take time to ensure that we know and understand their viewpoint before we judge it. It may be that we are wrong, though there are those who find they are wrong but refuse to change their position due to pride and rebellion. In this, even Christians have been known to rebel against God.

God sent Christ Jesus into this world to die upon the cross for our sins and rise again, conquering death and promising us everlast life. This is a view that the church as held for over 2000 years. Nothing can change it. It can not be disproven, as it would have been done so when it first began if it were possible. Yes, this a point of view. However, it has never been proven false. Other views, both within and without the church, come and go. Many of these views will either change or otherwise prove false. However, we need to first understand such views before we simply deny them.

My view is that of a forklift operator. This view is how I live. My view is that of a Christian of the Lutheran tradition. This view is how I believe. My view is that the Bible is true. This view has never failed me. What’s your view?

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