Edge Cases

I think we spend a lot of time arguing/thinking/stressing about “edge cases” in our religion. For this discussion I’ll define those as issues that either don’t directly affect us one way or another, are mentioned only briefly (and possibly not very clearly) in the Bible, or are just really complex, with lots to consider on either side. For example:

  • What happens to a pygmy in Africa who never hears of God?
  • Should our church support this or that program with its money?
  • Will Jesus come back to earth physically and rule for 1,000 years?

A friend of mine made an interesting observation the other day: we have plenty to do trying to learn to love our neighbor and while we could, for example, spend hundreds of hours studying Revelation to decide what type of premillinialist we may be, is most of that time better spent understanding the sermon on the mount or the parables of the rich young ruler or the sower?

I’m not saying that anything in the Bible is unimportant – in fact I believe every word is there for a reason. But unless we are full time monks we only have a certain amount of time, energy, and attention. For example, if God thinks that loving each other is so important that he devoted paragraphs and paragraphs to it across several different books in the Bible, maybe that’s something I should really try to do well before I spend 300 hours researching whether men are permitted to have long hair.

Think about what edge case may be distracting you, and contrast that with how well you did loving your neighbor today.


One Response to “Edge Cases”

  1. TonyDye Says:

    This is kind of an aside, but I think it’s related. I meet with a couple of guys weekly, one of whom is NOT a Christian. We were talking about “problems,” (children, jobs, spouses, whatever) and the non-Christian mentioned that we (Christians) have an advantage because we can take those problems somewhere – to God, whereas non-Christians just have to stuff it and move on.

    So, the non-Christian, non-seeker, sees a tangible benefit to Christianity. Hmmm…

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