Pastor’s Notes 6-30-18: Heavenly Creatures

By Dr. Kevin Thomas —
As the youngest of four boys, I was at a decided disadvantage in board games. The youngest in the room is especially subject to “rule changes,” and lopsided deals. Older, more experienced opponents might convince the unsuspecting child of the advantages of giving up Board Walk in favor of Baltic Avenue, and it’s always easy to create confusion about whether one is in jail or “just visiting.” Of course, creative rules and slanted deals are designed to accomplish the ultimate goal–winning!

In much of our culture, winning is all that matters. We pull for our team, our candidate, our position against all odds, no matter what. “If the other side comes up with a good idea, I’ll vote it down! We can’t let THEM win!” That way of thinking has infected everything from Washington D. C. to the church. We choose up sides creating winners and losers and too often use all available tactics to insure that we’re the former and not the latter. Of course, winning is good. Winning at all costs is not.

Victory won through deceit is hollow, and it harms both winners and losers. It turns both into objects. Worse yet, it ignores truth and justice. Claiming a majority votes does not make us right. In the Old Testament, most often the prophets were outnumbered, but they were right. Jesus stood alone in judgment, but He was the epitome of justice. Might does not make right. There is a better way.

C. S. Lewis gives an excellent clue when he says that each decision we make turns us a little more into a creature of heaven or a hellish creature. A lifetime of decisions leaves us either resembling Christ or the enemy. As we move through this life, God calls us to love God and others. Or as the prophet Micah put it, “And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (6:8). In a world preoccupied with division, may we seek unity in Christ!