Wednesday, March 26, 2014

When the Shoe Doesn't Fit

Certainly you have seen several versions of this bumper sticker by now. But you may not know there is an actual "Coexist Foundation" - a charitable organization based in London, England, which aims to improve religious relationships between people of Islamic, Jewish, and Christian faiths. While we can appreciate any effort that has a peaceful aim, we must also ask ourselves whether or not the plea that is being made by this group, or any organization is according to truth.

During our gospel meeting this past week, brother Dave Phillips, preacher for the Germantown congregation, put these two symbols up on his power-point presentation. He was making an observation about our current world's desire for tolerance. In the middle of his sermon my son Luke, who just turned 13, made an observation of his own. He whispered to my wife, "I find it ironic that the "x" in coexist for one of these bumper stickers is a "swastika," while in the other it is the "Star of David." I think he is on to something here.

One of the ways in which truth is twisted is through perception. But the problem with perception in relation to truth is, truth resides outside of our own opinions. It is objective. The world attempts to make truth subjective (which is also what Satan does) - to give each one the opportunity to decide what is true and what is false. But truth doesn't work that way.

It is interesting to note that it was actually Buddha who said, "Three things cannot be long hidden, the sun, the moon, and the truth." And it was Mahatma Ghandi who said, "An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it." In other words, the truth will find its place, because a lie told a thousand times is still a lie, no matter who says it and no matter how it is presented. Truth is greater and stronger than man because it does not originate nor is it dependent upon the understanding or the acceptance of the human race.

The Bible says that "grace and truth came by Jesus Christ" (John 1:17). It also tells us that we can know the truth if we abide in His word and that this truth can makes us free (John 8:31-32). Jesus came into the world, that He might bear witness of the truth (John 18:37). He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6). We can be sanctified by the truth, which is defined specifically as the word of God (John 17:17). And, "He who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God" (John 3:21).

Our culture understands the expression, "If the shoe fits, wear it." What that little phrase is simply stating, is that if what is being said is true, then it ought to be accepted. If such is the case, then it would be right and fair to say, in reciprocal fashion, "If the shoe doesn't fit, take it off." The Jewish Star and the Nazi Swastika can never "coexist." They are at odds with each other. That shoe just won't marry the prince - you can ask Cinderella's step-sisters.

In our twenty-first century world that is screaming "tolerance!" - there are some things truth just won't tolerate. I don't care how many times I hear it, see it, or am told to believe it. If God's word rejects it, than the shoe doesn't fit and I refuse to wear it.

Pray that God will give us the hearts and the minds to coexist on the planet He created for us to dwell upon. But make sure that within that prayer you accept His own will about it. God is the one who has called us into fellowship - and He is the one who has the power to unite us, and He specifically and exclusively and universally has chosen to call us into fellowship by the power of the blood of His Son (1 Cor. 1:9). One day we will coexist - but not here. That is not the plan.

"Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: 'I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” Therefore,“Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters,says the Lord Almighty.'” ~ 2 Corinthians 6:14-18

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