Monday, May 26, 2014

The Pendulum: Black and White Versus Grey

I think there are two dangerous positions when it comes to being a follower of Jesus.

One is that everything is black and white.  A friend's husband once said very emphatically that everything in the Bible is black and white, and there is no such thing as 'grey areas'.  I actually do not think a lot of the things he considers black and white to be black and white at all.

The other is everything is grey.  In this postmodern age, this position seems to be the most subtle among Christians, and the most dangerous.  Suddenly nothing can be seen as absolutely true, only what is true for you (which may not be true for someone else).  Everything in the Bible is evaluated by personal experience, and clear commands are altered to fit our 'experiences'.  We start talking about 'faith lenses'.  Yes, how we come to the Bible is influenced a lot by our background, but that does not mean our background and experiences are a litmus test for what is true.

While there are some very clear commands in the Bible, I think it's fair to say that when it comes to application, there are a lot of dilemmas and grey areas.  Just when you think something couldn't be easier to apply, along comes a situation which makes you really think about how to be faithful to Jesus in that particular circumstance.

Of course, the logical question is which issues are black and white and which are grey?  I don't want to get into unnecessary debates here.

All I want to say is that it's easier to be either legalistic or lawless, rather than adopt a response to different life situations which is shaped by grace.

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