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Monday, February 11, 2013

The theological consequences of living your 'own truth': 'God wanted us to have this cocaine'

The theological consequences of living your 'own truth

My wife and I frequently laugh about a scene in a movie (the name escapes me) in which a large parcel package was delivered to the wrong apartment. The delivery guy was clueless and lazy. Update: My wife remembered the name of the movie. It is "Next Day Air."

The two guys in the apartment - down on their luck and not extremely interested in doing the hard work to find steady employment - took it in any way, opened it up and discovered a large stash of high-priced cocaine. Instead of being afraid a big, bad drug dealer would be knocking on their door soon to reclaim his property or calling the cops to turn it in, they instead reacted this way:

"God wanted us to have this cocaine."

They saw it as a sign from God that this was their way to make the money they didn't feel like working to earn. They literally believed God sent that cocaine to them so they could become successful drug dealers. By the end of the movie, lots of bad things happened to them and just about everyone else who came into contact with the cocaine. The scene was funny, though, because we've often heard God invoked for all sorts of things, including someone who told us that she was pushing off studying for an extremely important test because God hadn't moved her yet.

So, yes, there clearly is danger in "living your own truth" by declaring that what you want to do is God's will for your life, when oftentimes it is simply something you want to do and are slapping a God label on it to make it more palatable to yourself and others.

Such claims can get absurd, and really, really quickly. That's true.

But what is also true is that just because the church says it has found the absolute truth doesn't mean it really has - because those who have speak for the church are susceptible to the same whims and flaws those two guys in that apartment were.

Are some truths clearer than others? Perhaps. But claiming which ones are, in the name of God and God's Word, can't eliminate our imperfections.

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