The Door Is Open

All things are possible for one who believes. Mark 9:23

Many professed Christians are always doubting and fearing, and they forlornly think that this is the inevitable state of believers. This is a mistake, for “all things are possible for one who believes”; and it is possible for us to arrive at a place where a doubt or a fear shall be like a migrant bird flitting across the soul but never lingering there. When you read of the high and sweet communions enjoyed by favored saints, you sigh and murmur in the chamber of your heart, “Sadly, these are not for me.”

But, climber, if you exercise your faith, you will before long stand on the sunny pinnacle of the temple, for “all things are possible for one who believes.” You hear of exploits that holy men have done for Jesus—what they have enjoyed of Him, how much they have been like Him, how they have been able to endure great persecutions for His sake—and you say, “But as for me, I am useless. I can never reach these heights.”

But there is nothing that one saint was that you may not be. There is no elevation of grace, no attainment of spirituality, no clearness of assurance, no place of duty, that is not open to you if you have but the power to believe. Lay aside your sackcloth and ashes, and rise to the dignity of your true position; you are impoverished not because you have to be but because you want to be. It is not right that you, a child of the King, should grovel in the dust. Rise! The golden throne of assurance is waiting for you! The crown of communion with Jesus is ready to adorn your brow. Wrap yourself in scarlet and fine linen, and eat lavishly every day; for if you believe, you can eat the royal portion, your land will flow with milk and honey, and your soul shall be satisfied in God. Gather golden sheaves of grace, for they await you in the fields of faith. “All things are possible for one who believes.”

Spurgeon

Sometimes We Just Need to Be Quiet

“Preach the gospel always and, if necessary, use words.” This pithy insight has long been accredited to St. Francis of Assisi, but now historians doubt that St. Francis ever said it or anything like it. That’s too bad. For one thing, it’s a pretty clever saying and for the second, preachers and theologians have argued about what the saying meant for generations. Did St. Francis mean we should never speak when we talk about Jesus? Or, if we get to a point when words are necessary, what words do we use? Now, we’re not sure he even said it. It’s too bad; it was a fun quote to debate.

Current Issue

If we need another phrase to debate, I’ll offer us another one: “If you can’t improve the silence, don’t say anything at all.” That’s from my mom. According to Mom, not everything that happens requires comment, and if something is said, say it quick and let everyone get back to the silence. If my mom was alive today, she’d be having a field day with our world. For some reason, everyone in our world feels the need to give their opinion on anything and everything. Politics and economics, who’s to blame and who’s not, who wore what at the latest awards banquet and what comedian, athlete, or professor has been canceled — on and on and on it goes.

It’s the only thing that’s on television these days — panels of “experts” shouting at each other about the latest headline guaranteed to generate millions of clicks.

Sometimes, we need to be quiet.

The first place I learned this was after my father’s first heart attack. My father was in ICU trying to get strong enough to have bypass surgery. For two or three days, my dad drifted in and out and we didn’t know if he would make it or not. Countless friends came to visit us at the hospital. Many of them used the same old worn-out pastoral care cliches I had used when I visited church members in the hospital.

I don’t say those things anymore.

The friends I appreciated the most were the ones who came by and didn’t say anything at all, said a quiet prayer and gave me a strong hug.

The second place I learned this was in the worship services at Brentwood Baptist Church. For years, we’ve slowed things down in the middle of our service and given our congregation time to pray. We don’t instruct them what to pray for. The minutes of silence are a gift to our congregation. We simply stop, give them time to pray with no distractions, then we slowly re-engage our worship experience. Here’s the shocker. When we do surveys about our worship services, the prayer time is always (and has been for years) the most important moment and the highest rated segment of our services.

The most important moments in our worship service — according to our people — are those moments when we say nothing at all. And no, the irony isn’t lost on me.

When you’re young in the ministry, you feel like you have to say something about everything. When you get older, you take greater measure with your words. As you grow in the skill of preaching, you learn the worth of a well-placed pause. Sometimes, your silence is a more powerful way to say what needs to be said than any words could. Silence, like a rest in a piece of music, frames the power and beauty of the next note played. The white space of the canvas focuses the eye on the subject of the painting. Sometimes nothing is the most profound thing you can say.

Recently, NASA released pictures from the James Webb space telescope. According to scientists, we are able to look at stars just after the moment of creation itself. The pictures are overwhelming in their beauty and mystery. The presenters stumbled at trying to describe the indescribable. Our response to wonder is silence.

In fact, silence is our response to a lot of things.

Great joy? Silence.

Grief? Silence.

Fear? Silence.

Mystery? Silence.

Love? Silence.

Our world is so cluttered with sound that we now talk about “noise pollution.” We understand now how damaging the constant drone of noise can be to our spiritual and mental well-being. We need silence to clear our thoughts and refocus our energy. There is something about silence that heals our souls.

And yes, there’s something about silence that makes it easier for us to hear God. After all, He wasn’t in the storm, but rather in the still small voice — a voice so still and small we can only hear it in silence.

So, give yourself a gift. Turn off everything and just sit in silence. Listen to the sound of your own soul. Allow yourself to sink deeply into the mystery that is all around us.

Learn to measure your words and listen to my mom. If you can’t improve the silence, don’t say anything at all. You know, I can’t remember the last time I got into trouble for not talking enough.

M. Glenn

You Had One Job

The Ark of the Covenant has long captured our imagination, from Raiders of the Lost Ark to documentaries on the History Channel. In Exodus, we learn that God Himself commanded the building of the Ark (Ex. 25:10–22). It was placed in the innermost room of the tabernacle as a representation of God’s presence.

Arise, LORD, and come to your resting place, you and the ark of your might.Psalm 132:8

For years, the Ark dwelt in obscurity in the house of Abinadab (1 Sam. 7:1). In today’s reading, David brought the Ark into Jerusalem. This chapter provides us with three pictures of worship illustrated by Uzzah, Michal, and David.

Uzzah was one of the priests entrusted with transporting the Ark. He decided to “set the ark of God on a new cart” (2 Sam. 6:3). This catches us by surprise. The Law was specific on how the Ark was to be handled. It was to be carried on poles by the priests (Ex. 25:13–14). Uzzah decided to transport it like the Philistines had (1 Sam. 6:7–8). He thought he knew best. As one commentator put it, “Instead of losing himself in the worship of God, [he] has God in a box and officiously assumes responsibility for keeping God safe.” Uzzah’s example reminds us to respect God’s holiness. Obedience is central to right worship.

Michal does not worship. She observes from the outside and critiques. She evaluates David’s performance (v. 16). It is easy to be sympathetic with Michal. She had a difficult life. But this passage shows that she did not take refuge in the Lord. Her bitterness kept her from joyful worship.

David was wholeheartedly devoted to the Lord. He did not always understand what God was doing (v. 8), but his whole being was oriented toward God, and he danced before Him with abandon.

Take a few minutes and reflect on your own attitude toward worship. Are you more like Uzzah, Michal, or David? What are the things that hinder you in your worship of God?

R. Meek

Why Did God Make Satan in the First Place?

This is a two-part question. The first part is “Did God know Satan would rebel?” We know from Scripture that God is omniscient, which literally means “all-knowing.” Job 37:16; Psalm 139:2–4, 147:5; Proverbs 5:21; Isaiah 46:9-10; and 1 John 3:19–20 leave no doubt that God’s knowledge is infinite and that He knows everything that has happened in the past, is happening now, and will happen in the future.

Looking at some of the superlatives in these verses—“perfect in knowledge”; “his understanding has no limit”; “he knows everything”—it is clear that God’s knowledge is not merely greater than our own, but it is infinitely greater. He knows all things in totality. If God’s knowledge is not perfect, then there is a deficiency in His nature. Any deficiency in God’s nature means He cannot be God, for God’s very essence requires the perfection of all His attributes. Therefore, the answer to the first question is “yes, God knew that Satan would rebel.”

Moving on to the second part of the question, “Why did God create Satan knowing ahead of time he was going to rebel?” This question is a little trickier because we are asking a “why” question to which the Bible does not usually provide comprehensive answers. Despite that, we should be able to come to a limited understanding. We have already seen that God is omniscient. So, if God knew that Satan would rebel and fall from heaven, yet He created him anyway, it must mean that the fall of Satan was part of God’s sovereign plan from the beginning. No other answer makes sense given what we’ve seen thus far.

First, we should understand that knowing Satan would rebel is not the same thing as making Satan rebel. The angel Lucifer had a free will and made his own choices. God did not create Lucifer as the devil; He created him good (Genesis 1:31).

In trying to understand why God created Satan, knowing he would rebel, we should also consider the following facts:

1) Lucifer had a good and perfect purpose before his fall. Lucifer’s rebellion does not change God’s original intent from something good to something bad.

2) God’s sovereignty extends to Satan, even in his fallen condition. God is able to use Satan’s evil actions to ultimately bring about God’s holy plan (see 1 Timothy 1:20 and 1 Corinthians 5:5).

3) God’s plan of salvation was ordained from eternity past (Revelation 13:8); salvation requires something to be saved from, and so God allowed Satan’s rebellion and the spread of sin.

4) The suffering that Satan brought into the world actually became the means by which Jesus, in His humanity, was made the complete and perfect Savior of mankind: “In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered” (Hebrews 2:10).

5) From the very beginning, God’s plan in Christ included the destruction of Satan’s work (see 1 John 3:8).

Ultimately, we cannot know for sure why God created Satan, knowing he would rebel. It’s tempting to assume that things would be “better” if Satan had never been created or to declare that God should have done differently. But such assumptions and declarations are unwise. In fact, to claim we know better than God how to run the universe is to fall into the devil’s own sin of promoting himself above the Most High (Isaiah 14:13–14).

A Word to Your Rebel Heart

You have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; for ‘All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever.’

1 Peter 1:23-25

The gospel is not an exhortation to well-meaning people, inviting us to add a little religion to our lives. God’s word comes to the rebel heart and commands obedience. It is a word that brings the dead to life.

How is this work accomplished? Only by God’s Spirit. It is the Spirit’s work to achieve what cannot be done in any other way, by any other means: to bring about new life.

By nature, we are all rebels against God. No one seeks after Him (Romans 3:11). Even if I call myself an agnostic or a seeker or open-minded, in reality I am rebelling. And God “commands all people everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30). God calls every one of us to do an about-turn—to turn decisively from sin and rebellion and to come under His rule.

Apart from a miracle, we cannot do this. Left to ourselves, we are dead and without hope for eternity. Thankfully, it is the very task of God’s Spirit to perform that miracle for us. New life is something God achieves, not something we engender. The Spirit convicts us of sin and convinces us that Jesus, by His death on the cross, has dealt with it.

Scripture is absolutely clear on this: when we were dead in our sins, we were made alive in Christ (Ephesians 2:1-5). The Spirit brings us to understand what by ourselves we are unprepared to face—namely, that we have a deep, endemic problem we cannot fix. We need a miracle. And that’s what God does. He brings about new life. He saves us by His grace.

Everything about us fades; like the grass, Peter reminds us, all of us will one day fall. But there is a seed which produces that which is imperishable, which is planted in us by the Spirit and which will bloom and thrive for all eternity: the life that has been born anew through the gospel. The word of God remains forever, and so does the one who has been brought to new life as the Spirit works through it.

Once that has happened to us, we no longer see the Bible merely as some history book or inspiring story. By the work of the Spirit, it becomes a light, illuminating true life, and our eyes are opened to understand who God is. This is why we study the Bible: to better see and know the one who has saved us and with whom we will spend eternity.

So, may the love of Jesus draw you to Him. May the joy of Jesus enable you to serve Him. May the peace and contentment that comes in knowing Jesus grant to you stability and clarity as you reflect on where you’ve been, consider where you are, and meditate upon where you are headed. Your earthly flesh will fall; but you will remain forever.

Begg

Can You Keep a Secret

Can you keep a secret?

Can you? Be honest, now. When privileged information passes through one of the gates of your senses, does it remain within the walls of your mind? Or is it only a matter of time before a leak occurs? When the grapevine requests your attention from time to time, do you refuse to help it climb higher, or do you encourage its rapid growth, fertilizing it by your wagging, unguarded tongue? When someone says, “Now this is confidential,” do you respect their trust or ignore it . . . either instantly or ultimately?

The longer I live, the more I realize the scarcity of people who can be fully trusted with confidential information. The longer I live, the more I value those rare souls who fall into that category! As a matter of fact, if I were asked to list the essential characteristics that should be found in any member of a church staff or officer on a church board . . . the ability to maintain confidences would rank very near the top. No leader deserves the respect of the people if he or she cannot restrain information that is shared in private.

Our minds might be compared to a cemetery, filled with graves that refuse to be opened. The information, no matter how juicy or dry, must rest in peace in its coffin, sealed in silence beneath the epitaph “Shared in confidence—Kept in confidence.”

You and I wouldn’t give a plugged nickel for a doctor who ran off at the mouth. The same applies to a minister or an attorney or a counselor or a judge or a teacher or a secretary . . . or a close, trusted friend for that matter. No business ever grows and remains strong unless those in leadership are people of confidence. No school maintains public respect without an administration and faculty committed to the mutual guarding of one another’s worlds. When leaks occur, it is often a sign of character weakness, and action is usually taken to discover the person who has allowed his or her mental coffin to be exhumed and examined.

Information is powerful. The person who receives it and dispenses it bit by bit often does it so that others might be impressed because he or she is “in the know.” Few things are more satisfying to the old ego than having others stare wide-eyed, drop open the jaw, and say, “My, I didn’t know that!” or “Why, that’s hard to believe!” or “How in the world did you find that out?”

Solomon writes strong and wise words concerning this subject in Proverbs. Listen to his counsel:

From now on, let’s establish four practical ground rules:

  1. Whatever you’re told in confidence, do not repeat.
  2. Whenever you’re tempted to talk, do not yield.
  3. Whenever you’re discussing people, do not gossip.
  4. However you’re prone to disagree, do not slander.

Honestly now, can you keep a secret? Prove it.

C. Swindoll

Are Sinful Thoughts That Bad?

In Matthew 5:22, Jesus seems to say that if you get angry with someone, you’re guilty of murder. Can that really be what he means? Maybe you get angry at people all the time. Does that really mean that, in some sense, you’ve murdered them?

Yes. This is what Jesus says in the Sermon on the Mount: “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire” (Matt. 5:21–22).

Now, first, we have to distinguish between good anger and sinful anger. Throughout the Gospels, it’s clear that Jesus himself, the eternal Son of God, the Word made flesh who was sinless, was angry at times. He got angry especially when the worship of God was being corrupted. He got angry about religious hypocrisy. He drove the money-changers out of the temple (John 2:13–17). He called to the Pharisees and religious leaders fools (Matt. 23:17). Why? Because of their religious hypocrisy.

But Jesus didn’t sin.

There are times when we should be angry about injustice. We should be angry about idolatry and the corruption of God’s worship in the church. At times, it’s right to be angry.

But at other times it’s wrong. And it’s those other times that Jesus refers to here. Some ancient biblical manuscripts add the phrase “without cause” to Matthew 5:22: “But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother without cause.” So this is unjustified anger. This is that cruel, contentious contempt that we can feel for others. That’s what Jesus highlights here.

He’s doing a couple of things. One, consider the opening phrase in verse 21, “You have heard that it was said.” Jesus repeats that phrase six times in the Sermon on the Mount. It’s followed by, “But I say to you.” In other words, he’s putting himself on the level of the law. This text shows that Jesus claimed to be God. He assert his authority as the one who declares the truth of God’s law and gives us its true, inspired interpretation.

And he tells us that murder isn’t just when you kill someone. The seeds of murder are in our hearts when we feel sinful anger.

So we need to repent. We need God’s grace and mercy. Jesus larger point here is that nobody keeps the law of God perfectly.

We all get angry. At times, we feel righteous anger. Often, though, it’s sinful anger that we need to repent of.

A. Sanchez

One of My Kids Got Into Trouble

One of my kids got into trouble last week, and it was that kind of interesting trouble all the other kids love to talk about. Juicy trouble is everyone’s favorite kind of trouble. So his siblings talked, and he was furious at the humiliating injustice of being talked about. I overheard my husband trying to explain to him that if he had acted justly in the first place, the others would have nothing to say.

My little fella isn’t alone. We are all inclined to think that we are right and everyone else is wrong. We like our own version of justice. We are quick to condemn the faults of others and justify ourselves. But we cannot be our own standard of justice, because we are finite and fallen.

This is why it’s hard to understand the book of Job. Bildad’s perspective is more familiar than Job’s, because like Bildad, we redefine righteousness to suit our own ends and try to treat justice like karma. Want to know who has sinned? Look and see how they “got what was coming to them.” But justice isn’t karma. It’s a mistake to assume that when something good happens to us, it is because we’ve been good. When we hum along with The Sound of Music’s Fraulein Maria, saying, “Nothing comes from nothing… I must have done something good,” we are singing the same tune as Bildad.

Instead of basing our outcomes on our actions, Job points out two things. First, justice is God’s, not ours: “Even if I were in the right, I could not answer. I could only beg my Judge for mercy” (Job 9:15). God is the righteous one. When He acts, no one can condemn Him. No one can contend with Him. This is uncomfortable, because we like justice to be defined our way.

Second, God is sovereign. Whether things go right or seemingly wrong for us, God is still in control. Nothing happens outside of His will. “If it isn’t he, then who is it?” Job asks rhetorically (v.24). We’ve already glimpsed into the heavens at the beginning of Job, where God gives Satan permission to torment a righteous man. God’s sovereignty is uncomfortable, especially when the wicked seem to succeed and the righteous suffer.

So we struggle with questions like these: “Does God pervert justice? Does the Almighty pervert what is right?” (8:3). The clear answer is a resounding “No!” God’s thoughts are higher than ours, and His ways higher than ours, and we cannot answer or contend with Him (Isaiah 55:8–9).

Like Job, we want to know why God allows bad things to happen (Job 10:18). But there are a lot of things we don’t get to know in this life. It shouldn’t surprise us that we cannot fully comprehend the Almighty, that He doesn’t bow to our will. But there is good news: God is good, and we are safe in His care (v.12). We need not fear. When we, like children, don’t see the whole picture, we can still trust that God’s justice is good because He is good, and He cares for us.

R. Faires

Satan Will Hinder You

Satan hindered us. 1 Thessalonians 2:18

Since the first hour in which goodness came into conflict with evil, it has never ceased to be true in spiritual experience that Satan hinders us. From all points of the compass, all along the line of battle, in the advance party or in the rear, at the dawn of day and in the midnight hour, Satan hinders us. If we work in the field, he seeks to break our implements; if we build a wall, he tries to cast down the stones; if we are serving God in suffering or in conflict—everywhere Satan hinders us. He hinders us when we are first coming to Jesus Christ. We had fierce conflicts with Satan when we first looked to the cross and lived. Now that we are saved, he tries to prevent our growth in Christian character. You may be congratulating yourself: “So far I have walked consistently; no one can challenge my integrity.”

Beware of boasting, for your virtue will soon be tested; Satan will direct his energies against the very virtue for which you are most famous. If you have to this point been a firm believer, your faith will soon be attacked; if you have been meek like Moses, expect to be tempted to speak unadvisedly with your lips. The birds will peck at your ripest fruit, and the wild boar will dash his tusks at your choicest vines.

Satan is sure to hinder us when we are faithful in prayer. He hinders our persistence and weakens our faith in order that, if possible, we may miss the blessing. Satan is equally vigilant in obstructing Christian effort. There was never a revival of religion without a revival of his opposition. As soon as Ezra and Nehemiah began to work, Sanballat and Tobiah were stirred up to hinder them. What then? We are not alarmed because Satan hinders us, for it is a proof that we are on the Lord’s side and are doing the Lord’s work, and in His strength we will win the victory and triumph over our adversary.

Stop Pushing Your Beliefs So I Can Push Mine

B. Muehlenberg

There is a lot of foolish thinking out there when it comes to religion, worldviews, and ultimate truth. Plenty of folks deny absolute truth altogether. Many simply believe that all truths are equal, and none should be favoured over any other. And plenty of people are steeped in relativism, and think we all should just chill when it comes to firmly held beliefs.

Yet all these folks who routinely complain about religious types – especially Christians – “imposing their morality on others” are the very first ones to do exactly the same. They expect that their worldview and their morality SHOULD be the law of the land – figuratively if not actually.

Let me offer a clear cut example of this which recently appeared on the social media. One friend has posted a tweet by the American conservative and Christian commentator Allie Beth Stuckey: “Neutrality is a myth. Those who claim to fear Christian theocracy actually just want to implement their own. They want Christians to check their worldview at the door, so they can make sure they can control you with theirs.” The friend said this: “I’ve observed this is true. It is never easy-going c’est la vie types who try to shut Christians down, only budding tyrants.”

But one person came along and replied: “I have no problem with people practicing their religion. Nor do the vast majority of leftists. We object to all religions that insist that everyone follows their beliefs, which they encode into laws. This applies to Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Jews, Christians and those who practice every other religion as well. If you believe in ‘live and let live’ (not identical to c’est la vie), then this should be no problem for you.”

Oh dear. There are a number of substantial problems with this sort of remark. Three main points come to mind: how faith commitments work; the matter of pushing one’s beliefs and morals on others; and the nature of truth. As to faith commitments, those who are serious will know that this cannot mean just embracing every other view in town.

A committed atheist or secular humanist does NOT accept the claims of Jews, Christians and other religious groups. Judging by what this gal has said, it seems clear that she has her own faith commitments. Yet she seems to want everyone to just happily get along in terms of their beliefs while at the same time she fiercely clings to her own.

What such folks really want is for no one to take their beliefs seriously – except themselves. But genuine faith commitments do not work that way. The point of being commited to a worldview or a religion is to take it seriously – otherwise it is no faith commitment at all.

As to pushing one’s views onto others, this gal was doing just that as she challenged the other person. Everyone who is serious about their beliefs want them promoted far and wide – and yes, even want some legal recognition of them. The homosexual or polyamorist who thinks marriage can be whatever you want it to be not only thinks his views are right and important, but they should be backed up by force of law as well.

The truth is, ALL law is ultimately based on someone’s morality. And everyone wants their particular morality to have some sort of legislative enforcement. Even atheists and secular humanists do. In fact, they push their worldviews and morality on us all the time, even suing people and taking religious folks to court, and so on.

If someone is a gung-ho pro-abort, guess what? They will work day and night to make sure that society in general and the law in particular push their beliefs on others. That’s what law does: it binds everyone to a particular morality or view of what society should be like.

Indeed, just as I was writing this piece I came upon this in an online newspaper: “Victorian MP introduces bill to block religious hospitals from refusing abortions. A Victorian MP is hoping to pass new legislation which will prevent religious hospitals from banning abortion services.” That would be the diabolical Fiona Patten of the Sex Party.

So this person who complains about those who want to enforce their views on others is simply living in dreamland. She likely does this every day herself. When she votes for a politician or political party, she is wanting to see her preferred beliefs and values acted upon in the public arena – even legislated upon in fact. So she should spare us the ‘let’s just get along and don’t impose your views on others’ silliness.

Third, consider the nature of truth. Truth of course implies falsehood. If 2+2=4 is true, then 2+2=24 is not. No amount of wishful thinking will help you convince the tax department if you think mathematical truths are purely personal and subjective. And it is the same when it comes to religious truth claims.

If, as Christianity states, Jesus is God’s son who died on a cross and rose again, then its negation – as in Islam – can NOT be true. Both cannot be true when it comes to this core matter of belief. Sure, a Muslim and a Christian can seek to be good neighbours to each other, but if they are committed to their faiths, they cannot be anywhere near on the same page theologically.

Speaking in a somewhat different context, US Governor Kristi Noem recently said this: “If you do NOT hold to truth, if everything to you is negotiable….then you have no stability at all. You have become so ‘flexible’ that you have no foundation. You are fake.” Yes she is on to something there.

Moreover, not all claims to truth are accurate or realistic. Let’s say we have four differing accounts of reality, only one of which is true. Let’s say you are out at work, and someone discovers your house is on fire. If he tells you about this, you will drop everything and rush home – perhaps after calling the fire department first.

But let’s say three others give a different account of what is happening. One might say there is just some mist or fog hanging around the house but no fire. Another might say it is not your home that is on fire but that of someone else. And a third person might say that even if it is on fire, it is no big deal – just some material goods that we should not worry about anyway.

Four views on reality, only one of which is fully correct. So it does no good for this gal to say it is just fine whatever one believes, as long as they do not push it on anyone else. Just as it does matter which of the four views concerning the fire is correct, it is the same with ultimate truth claims. If our eternal destiny is at stake, then yes, it IS important as to which view we hold to.

So all up this gal’s complaint was silly indeed. Not only would she not apply it to herself, but it would never work in the real world. Truth is too important for that sort of nonsense. Truth matters, in other words, and when we try to pretend that it does not, we are asking for trouble.

Indeed, it reminds me of a scene out of Alice in Wonderland:

Alice: I was just wondering if you could help me find my way.
Cheshire Cat: Well that depends on where you want to get to.
Alice: Oh, it really doesn’t matter, as long as…
Cheshire Cat: Then it really doesn’t matter which way you go.

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