However, even math isn't always quite as clear-cut as you might think! I remember (as, no doubt, some of you will) when I first learned how to work with quadratic equations. (I won't go into detail, because then I'll lose most of you...haha! But if you're really interested you can check out the Wikipedia entry on quadratic equations here.) The bottom line is that when you solve for x in a quadratic equation, there are TWO answers; two numbers that will both correctly solve the equation! And I understand enough about the equation to understand WHY that is...still, I remember thinking at the time, "Well, THIS is different!" (I know, I know...there is still only one solution...that solution just contains two numbers. But you get my drift.) Later on in my math education, things got even weirder. I distinctly remember the day my math professor said in class "From this point on, you can forget everything you thought you knew about math." Wait...WHAT??? That's about the point when I realized I would never be a brilliant mathematician...I just couldn't handle that "squishiness".
We talked this past Sunday about what it means to interact with our culture vis-a-vis 1 Peter 2:13-17. And a lot of you are still thinking about that. I know that because you've talked to me about some of your thoughts. And I love that! I think it's great if you're still chewing on this and what it means for you and/or us in terms of specific application. But in the conversations I've had with some of you, we've tended to arrive at this conclusion: The answer isn't always completely obvious!! This can be "squishy" territory. That line between what it means to be obedient to our Lord Jesus Christ and what it means to be submissive to ruling authorities can be...well...fuzzy. The correct answer isn't always obvious.
All of which reminds me (again!) about how desperate we are for something: Wisdom!! As we navigate the tricky waters of what it means to be the Body of Christ in our culture, we need to continue to go back to God and to ask--even beg--for His wisdom. Remember how King Solomon did this? (see 1 Kings 3:5-12) Much like us, Solomon recognized that he was often faced with situations whose solutions weren't immediately obvious. And so he asked for help! And this request is recorded in the Bible as pleasing to God, (vs. 10). And so, continue to grapple...but please don't do it alone. Recognize that if we're going to get this right, we're going to need His help!
- Pastor Paul