Faith musings from the seat of a forklift.
We all have opinions. Some are better than others, especially when possessing better information. At work, that can pose a problem with it comes to how freight should be stacked. I don’t care if something is heavier than something else, just the weight alone doesn’t necessary justify placing something lighter on something heavier. Oddly, there are times when it just makes more sense and is safer to put something heavy on something light. However, that is also more of an exception than a rule.
Truthfully, as I have already stated, we all have opinions. I have read “Without PI, an opinion is just an ONION”. Now, I happen to like onions. Yet, there is a point here, namely that an opinion can be as irritating as an onion at times.
Let’s take the opinion of one of my critics. Yes, that picture above. She commented on the post “Excuses, Excuses”, last week. I was discussing some (though certainly not all) the excuses people give for rejecting the church. Seems she has an opinion about that. Specifically, she didn’t seem to like it much, and tried to say it was about me. Odd. This blog is not and has never been about me.
Looking at her specific statement, we see a lack of tolerance on her part, yet it is implied that I am the one who is intolerant. Do I like it when somebody believes something that I don’t? Not really, but there are times when I am wrong. I hold no illusions that I am somehow and forever right. Also, some beliefs are more trivial than others. I can believe coffee is the greatest drink out there, and somebody else can say I am wrong and soda is the greatest. Both are beliefs, and both might be wrong. However, it is not about me. Ultimately it is about God, and what God says.
What does God say? In the eighth chapter of John, Jesus (who is the second person of the trinity) is confronted by the Pharisees. They quickly make an accusation, based upon their opinion, of Jesus. They accuse him of being a Samaritan and having a demon. Considering where he was born, there is no possible way he could be a Samaritan. Nor could he be driving out demons, yet have a demon himself (Christ Jesus plainly taught that a house divided will not long stand). Speaking against his accusers, Jesus speaks of glorifying God and the dishonor the Pharisees show him. He then says “Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.” Of course the Pharisees are riled up by this, as they are of the opinion that Jesus has a demon, and they then speak about Abraham and the prophets, all of whom had died. Jesus then counters them and speaks of how it is God who will glorify him, and that is also when Jesus makes his statement of “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” Note that this is important, for “I am” was considered the personal name of God, and it was for that reason that the Pharisees sought at that moment to stone him.
None of that is my opinion. It is recorded plainly in the Bible. None of what is recorded plainly in the Bible is my opinion. I am merely looking at it and writing honestly as to how I understand it. Christ Jesus clearly identified himself as being God in the flesh, and not just in the eighth chapter of John’s gospel. To that end, I am merely seeking to keep Christ’s word. In keeping his word, I am not denying him. By his own word he also said, in the tenth chapter of Matthew’s gospel, “whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.” This is the chapter in which Christ Jesus sends out his disciples, and gives them specific instructions and warnings for while they are out. This is also where he says “I did not come to bring peace, but a sword”. Thus, I write based upon my understanding of God’s opinion. If you have a problem with God’s opinion, I can’t help you.
Christ Jesus came to bring us forgiveness. However, a heart hardened with sin and intolerant opinions is not necessarily one seeking forgiveness. I puzzle often what “blasphemy of the Holy Spirit” means, as this alone is the only unforgiven sin. I often wonder if it is dying in unrepentant, opinionated sin. Truthfully, I just don’t know.
When it comes to our opinions, we should stick to what we know and understand. If God says something is so, we should just stick with it. That seems the safest course of action. If we want to deny God and his word, he will deny us. We are welcomed to our opinions, but that doesn’t mean we are necessarily right. Sometimes we have to accept that we are wrong and need to repent.
Even when stacking freight, sometimes a second opinion can be helpful. You may not like that opinion, but better to get an opinion you don’t like and find it was right than to go with your own opinion and be wrong. Just bear in mind, whether it is freight or salvation, our opinion is not the final say. Our customers have final say when it comes to freight (claims come to mind), and God has the final say regarding our salvation. Not my opinion, just a basic fact.
Incidentally, the term “Opinionate” is an obsolete word. Seems that it means “grounded on opinion : lacking firm factual bases”. This is according to http://www.merriam-webster.com/ and I am not going to argue with a dictionary.