What a weighty question. There’s always a chance I could be wrong. Some things I’m more open to being wrong about than others. But for the most part, I’m confident in my reasons for thinking something is right. Most people are. You can’t change an adult’s mind easily. People aren’t as open-minded as they think. I’m not as open-minded as I think. I simply won’t be convinced to think that I’m completely wrong about something that I am passionate about, that I’ve considered carefully, and have formed a strong opinion about.
Now, I can be convinced in my mind that I’m on the right side of the issue, but at the same time concede that there’s a slight possibility I could be wrong. That’s hard to concede, especially for my personality. Although, I have to say, that I have changed my mind about things quite a bit as I’ve gotten older. However, the core issues, like my faith in Christ, have not changed.
So what am I really talking about here? Small things. At least, small in comparison to the question of whether or not Jesus is the way to heaven. That’s a big one. And the answer is that He is. I’ll never change from believing that. Now, the question of how a Christian should believe regarding small things…petty things…is where I find that I do have opinions, simply because other Christians have made a big deal out of them. I have almost felt forced to form an opinion on issues so small that sometimes I just shake my head. But there’s always a chance I could be wrong. And on some of these issues, I really don’t care one way or the other, because they are really that petty.
Scripture doesn’t address every single issue. So, I’ve found that when that’s the case, Christians can differ greatly in their opinions on what we should do about it. This leads to alot of confusion. I think the confusion happens because we’re not focused on Christ. We’re focused on an issue, that in the light of eternity, doesn’t matter all that much. The problem is that once we’ve decided where we stand on an issue, then we look to scripture to confirm that it, indeed, agrees with us. This is dangerous.
Scripture shouldn’t be used in this way. Example: Jeremiah 10:2-4 talks about pagans who cut down trees, adorn them with silver and gold, and worship them. Some Christians read that and think, Wow, he’s talking about Christmas trees! When the reality is that it had nothing to do with Christmas trees and everything to do with pagan idol worship. Some Christians use that alone to decide that Christmas shouldn’t be celebrated.
Now, I just gave my opinion on that. I said, the reality is such-and-such. I firmly believe that. I think this is a petty issue that really doesn’t matter to God one way or another. We can celebrate or not celebrate, because He looks at the heart. This is also my opinion. Some Christians will read that passage and never celebrate Christmas again, because they’ve formed an opinion that it’s wrong to do so. This makes me sad. Why do we have to differ on the simple things? The things that should be a no-brainer, like, of course we’re all going to celebrate Christmas because it’s awesome!
Does it really matter that Jesus wasn’t actually born on December 25th? Does it really matter that Santa, if the letters are rearranged, can spell Satan? Does it really matter that the Roman Catholic Church had its hands in establishing the holiday of Christmas? Or did they, because the history of Christmas is vague and it’s hard to really narrow down how it officially began. Does it really matter now? I would say an emphatic No. It doesn’t matter. According to this guy, it’s even wrong for us to use candles! Really? Are we really going to make this even more petty?!
Okay, so I got off-topic there. The main question here is: what if I’m wrong? My answer? If I’m wrong about something that the Bible doesn’t even address, if doing that thing doesn’t harm anyone else, if I’m not making an idol of it and worshiping it…then I will take my chances on being wrong. Because it won’t affect my salvation. God won’t look at me as any less of a Christian than someone who doesn’t celebrate Christmas. The thing is, I think some Christians think they have been enlightened when they happen upon the strange info I just mentioned. And I didn’t even mention half of it! The problem is when they make such a big deal of it, that they condemn you for not doing as they are doing.
I think we should change how we think of “enlightenment”. My sister just told me she was listening to a preacher who said something very profound. He said, “We think that the law of God is deep, and grace is simple. When in reality, it’s the grace that’s deep!” I believe that. I think Christians can get caught up in focusing on issues, forming opinions (like I have done!!), being annoyed at the other Christians for not agreeing (again, I’ve done it!), and generally keeping their eyes off of what really matters. Jesus.
So, what if I’m wrong? I want to always keep that question before me. It will keep me humble when I think I know it all. It will keep me questioning when I should keep questioning. And I will. I will question everything. Everything except Jesus. He is true, He is right, He is unchanging. And I’m so thankful for that!
What if you’re wrong? What are your thoughts?