There's this funny thing called theology-- it's a Christian's framework for how we view God and the rest of the world. It often makes my brain hurt. I like theological conversations, but I don't ever want to have more theological conversations than I do conversations about Jesus Himself. There's Calvinism vs. Arminianism, Cessationism vs. Continualism, Complementariansm vs. Egalitarianism...the list of big words goes on and on. I ride a pendulum from overemphasis on theology to underemphasis. Sometimes I sit comfortably in the middle, admiring the framework that theology creates for us, while deciding to not show it too much of my attention, lest I become a legalistic know-it-all. I think that God has given us a brain that we use to reason with. I've been wrestling with a lot of concepts lately. I've been reading, thinking, praying, writing, and then I start the cycle all over again. I think that's all fine and dandy. I recommend that everyone do a little bit of wrestling, just to keep from becoming stagnant. This past Sunday I was thinking about this concept of wrestling a little bit while I was reading Job.
In the bible there's a story about a man named Job. According to the writer of the book, Job really loved God. His heart was in the right place and he appeared to be on his p's and q's. Then Job's world fell apart. He lost nearly everything. His kids died in a tragic accident, his wealth was taken away, and on top of that, he was horribly sick-- the kind of sick where you get boils all over your body and have the runs.
The whole book of Job is filled passages where friends of Job decide to weigh in on his situation and explain why his world is falling apart. They accuse Job of doing wrong, because surely a righteous man's life wouldn't just go to Hell in a hand basket like this. Job's wife, being the encourager that she is, even tells Job that he should just curse God and die. During the last chapters of the book, God is the one who weighs in:
“Then the Lord answered Job from the whirlwind. He said: Who is this who obscures My counsel with ignorant words? Get ready to answer Me like a man; when I question you, you will inform Me. Where were you when I established the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. Who fixed its dimensions? Certainly you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? What supports its foundations? Or who laid its cornerstone while the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” -Job 38:1-7
This kind of dialogue goes on for the next three chapters...
“Do you have an arm like God’s? Can you thunder with a voice like His? Adorn yourself with majesty and splendor, and clothe yourself with honor and glory.” -Job 40:9-10
There are a lot of things that I don't understand about Job's story, but what I do know is that God's words are the final words.
We always seem to want to weigh in on the issues that fill our world. I'm guilty of it. I think we just need to watch our tone if and when we do decide to weigh in. I don't think having an opinion requires us to yell it from the rooftops either. Let's keep wrestling and questioning and talking, but let's do it around our tables. Let's break bread and wine together with the understanding that none of us have the final word, but the One who does is good.