I appreciate the work done by academics, historians, and theologians. The pool of reference material they produce is valuable, but there is a challenge. Everyone has a bias, including the academics, historians, and theologians – and you and me. As much as we try not to do it, our bias will influence the conclusions we draw and how we offer those conclusions in the presentation of our research. It is human nature.
As a young and developing follower of Jesus, I was concerned about the tool of human bias used to craft partial interpretations of fact, but now I realize it is what makes the Body of Christ so unique, and at times, so frustrating. Our bias will cause us to see the same issue from a different and many times, limited perspective.
The ultimate interpreter of fact is the Lord and His word, not us. One of the most unique gatherings of divergent perspectives was the first 12 disciples. Jesus had no problem gathering that motley crew together and giving them the authority to represent His name for the three years preceding His death and resurrection.
After Pentecost, a dramatic change took place, the most notable in Peter. The sometimes buffoonish and overly spontaneous member of the group would go on to become an astute author of two epistles and a stable pillar in the Church.
It was the demonstration of God’s power on the Day of Pentecost that changed everything for those first disciples, differing opinions included. I am waiting for another Pentecost. Nothing else has the power to bring together a divided Church and heal the wounds caused by our need to push our opinion and label our opponents in a dismissive tone.
The Great Awakening many are talking about will not be an anointing of our personal opinions, it will be an anointing that breaks the restricting yoke of our pride that is the greatest hindrance to the advance of God’s Kingdom. Our opinions are important to us, especially the academic, historic, and theological conclusions around which we wrap our faith, but they are not as important as those with whom we might disagree. The Lord modeled that kind of love with the twelve. Only the Spirit can do a work of unity in such a wide field of strongly-held opinion. A fresh anointing is coming to the Church. We will need to lay our opinions at the feet of Jesus to receive its full impact.
“The Great Reset” Glenn Beck