Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Positive and the Negative

Lately I've been thinking about the importance of 'antithesis' when it comes to authentic Christianity. In simpler terms, there is an unavoidable 'either-or' quality to true Christianity. In other words, there are crucial contrasts: there is 'flesh' and there is 'Spirit'; there is truth and there is falsehood. There's what's godly and there's what's worldly.

Nearly everyone would say they're in favor of the positives in those contrasts...but do we really realize that saying 'yes' to the one necessarily means we have to say 'no' to the other?

For just one Scriptural example, think of what Paul writes in Titus 1:9, as part of the qualities essential for a church leaders: "He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it."

A faithful pastor (teacher, Christian author, conference speaker) will be committed to BOTH "encouraging others by sound doctrine" AND also to 'refuting those who oppose' such healthy teaching.

Both tasks/functions -- the positive and the negative -- are essential to real Christianity and to faithful ministry.