I love analogies. So do many in the Christian faith, as it is a good way to communicate spiritual truth in ways that we can understand. Jesus used them to teach about the kingdom of God and communicate God’s Truth to those around Him. However, any analogies we use must be founded on the Truth, otherwise they will leave us with a distortion of God’s word. And the reality is, these snapshot stories and phrases CANNOT give us a full picture of the truth.
Mark Bates, of Village7 PCA church gives a great example in his sermon from 9/5/10. When sharing the salvation message, we have an affinity to use the picture drowning and God throwing out the life line and all we have to do is grab hold of it and we will be saved. Preaching from Ephesians 2, Pastor Bates revealed how wrong this picture is. Paul clearly states that we were NOT drowning in our sins; we were DEAD! We have swallowed the waters of sin, died and sunk to the bottom of the ocean. God, in His mercy and love, dove to the depths, raised us up, and made us alive in Christ. A dead man can’t do anything. We can’t save ourselves, even one bit. It is ALL God’s work.
While I could go on with this topic, I feel there is a greater, general lesson to apply. It is all too easy to take the rough, tough Truth of God and reduce it down to little analogies, stories and sayings that sound good but lose their connection of the Truth. Another way we do this is quoting scripture out of context. Except for the most of the Proverbs, verses were not written to stand alone. This is also easy to do with some topical Bible studies.
All of these methods of understanding Christianity are simply snapshots. They are stand alone pictures, viewing the Truth in one way, distorting it. Remember, the Bible claims to be “living and active.” Snapshots are far from that. (Pardon the Harry Potter reference- I’m reading them right now) In the wizarding world of Harry Potter, pictures are not action-less; the subjects in them move in a repetitive cycle. While this is a step in the right direction, it still does not capture the living aspect of the Truth. The Truth is like real life compared to these two. It is living, active and real. Snapshots just won’t do.
What snapshot do you have of God? Christ? Christianity? What truth do you believe in? Is it one founded on sayings and those few verses you have memorized? Seek for yourself the Truth of God and you may just find your eyes opened.