Scot McKnight, in his book The Blue Parakeet, has caused me to become more aware of how we as Christians pick and choose from the bible’s many mandates.
I put a series of questions from Leviticus 19 below to illustrate how we pick and choose.
Q: Why do we pick and choose?
Q: How should we pick and choose? (or What criteria do you use for determining what 613 mandates in the OT law make it into your Christian life today?)
The more church history books I read the more I am convinced that one of if not the biggest enemy of our Christian faith has been misplaced certainty. Faith is not certainty. Walking by faith and not by sight is supposed to be a messy and humbling process for the Christ follower. Today when we (as evangelical Christians) use the word faith I think many of us really mean certainty. Not the kind of certainty that leads to things like unconditional love and true self examination but the kind of certainty which leads to spiritual blindness and religious arrogance.
Attack of the fighting certainty robots!.
Jesus is not my metaphor for political cultural, ethical, judgmental or sociological certainty. Sure there are many times and many moments where I can have the comfort of situational certainty but I can’t cage it, tame it, or make it my domestic pet for every life circumstance. When I am really looking and listening to Jesus I see how fluid, double minded and even shallow my certainty really is. I see how and to what extent my heart idolizes the dream world of doubtlessness where everyone’s moral methamphetamines provide them with sanguine smiles and vacuous environments.
I could be missing something but faith is making me more certain of Jesus and less certain of a lot of other things these days. I am not loosing my faith just my addiction to certainty.