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August 6, 2018, 11:14 AM

Po-tA-to or Po-tO-to?

When my kids were little Emily and I would have to come up with different names for things in order to better help them understand what we were talking about. For example, Toby liked to eat at Chicken Express but he knew it as “yellow chicken” because of the color of the sign and the picture of the chicken. Lifeway was known around our house as “the Bob and Larry store” because that is how the kids identified it. There are more examples and I’m sure many of you have had similar experiences in your house. While the titles given to these places by my children weren’t the correct names of the establishments, it didn’t render either place any less effective in accomplishing their purpose. My children used the words they knew to describe these places the best way they knew how based on their experiences at each one. As of late, a particular word in a song has triggered much discussion and even lead to some people rejecting the song altogether. We see in the Bible men, as they were inspired by God, using the best words they knew to describe an infinite God that is not able to be fully known by finite humanity. They used a limited vocabulary to attempt to describe limitless majesty and glory. (I stand on the doctrine of the inerrancy of Scripture and will not waver.) I am not attempting to settle the debate nor am I choosing a side in the discussion as to the appropriateness of describing God’s love for us as reckless. I simply suggest that it may be a case of a man using words known to him based on experiences and understanding of how God saved him. This description of the love of God by no means makes Him any less powerful or able to save. My challenge to the multitude that has expended time and energy and flooded social media with thoughts and opinions, myself included, is that we would put forth the same amount of effort and passion in telling a lost and dying world of the love of God that we claim to know so much about. There are many aspects of religion and denominations, semantics and song lyrics that sometimes we may have to simply agree to disagree about. I offer three things that followers are instructed to do without a doubt. Jesus says that all of the law and the prophets hang on the first two; love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself. The third point is the commandment to make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It’s far better to win a soul to the Lord for the glory of God than to win an argument for the glory of yourself.


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