Tony Elder

Tony Elder

My 2-year-old grandson was peering out the window in his brother’s room when he suddenly began to excitedly call out to his mom. He beckoned for her to come see what he was looking at. When she asked him what it was, he replied, “Kangaroos!” My daughter wasn’t sure what to make of his unusual claim until she got to the window and saw two deer out in their front yard. She tried to tell him they were deer, but he kept insisting on calling them kangaroos. When you think about it, I guess the heads of those two animals do resemble one another. However, my grandson’s interpretation of what he saw that day wasn’t just a little off track – it was a whole continent away from reality.

I am amazed and sometimes disheartened by how differently some of us can interpret the same events we experience, the same actions we view, or the same words we hear. While different perspectives can be expected and can even be a positive thing at times, we need to be careful at how we allow our viewpoints to be colored by other people, by our limited knowledge, by the media, by social pressures, and by our own hearts or wishes. If we’re not careful, we can end up seeing a deer and interpreting it to be a kangaroo.

Such a phenomenon especially concerns me when it comes to those who profess to follow Jesus. I know we’re not going to agree on everything. We all have our different preferences and opinions about matters. However, there should be some basic truths we adhere to which should keep us at least on the same continent when it comes to interpreting reality. Yet one professing believer can be miles apart from another professing Christian when it comes to some of the political, social, moral and spiritual issues of our day.

Two different church-goers support different political parties or candidates and can’t see how a real Christian could support the other side. A ruling comes down from the Supreme Court about a social issue and one professing Christian celebrates it as progress as another professing believer decries it as sign of our moral decline. One pastor warns against God’s judgment while another pastor insists that we don’t have to worry about such actions from a loving God. One Christian tags a group or movement as evil, while another churchgoer gives the same group his approval and support. In spite of the way some people view truth so subjectively today, they can’t both be right. It’s either a deer or a kangaroo. There is objective truth and reality.

Therefore I would encourage us to do a couple of things. First of all, let’s all make sure of our relationship with Christ. I’ve used the terms “professing” and “church-goer” here, because I’m afraid many who attend church or call themselves Christian may not truly know Him as their Savior. Let’s affirm that we’ve experienced a life-changing encounter with the risen Christ and are submitting to Him as Lord of our lives.

Secondly, let’s commit ourselves to receiving the truth of His Word, regardless of what society says and even in spite of our own personal preferences. We need to accept what God says in the Bible as our standard for right and wrong, good and evil, and how we should live. Let’s not just cling to our pet verses that support our views, but be willing to submit to the truth as revealed in the entirety of God’s written word.

Let’s be careful that we aren’t just following our own deceptive hearts, minds and feelings. Let’s follow Jesus and His eternal word. He’ll help us discern what’s true and real.

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The Rev. Tony W. Elder is pastor of Wesley Community Fellowship Church. He can be reached at 770-483-3405 or by email at revtelder@aol.com.

Editor

I have been editor of the Rockdale Citizen since 1996 and editor of the Newton Citizen since it began publication in 2004. I am also currently executive editor of the Clayton News Daily, Henry Daily Herald and Jackson Progress-Argus.

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