Can the truth be diluted? (Thought for March 2017)

April 2, 2017

in Monthly comment, Uncategorized

Have you ever been asked an awkward question about your faith and wished there was an easy or glib answer? I recently felt that way when a good friend asked me a difficult question about how to approach a counselling situation for a couple in an unusual, but nevertheless heterosexual relationship. I was reminded of that incident in a quite powerful and dramatic way over the last two weeks.
Last week the Synod of the Church of England rejected a report, supported by two of its three constituents (Bishops & Clergy) when the Laity (elected CofE members) opposed the view that the church should only recognise marriage as being a union between a Man and a Woman. This week by contrast, one of the highest courts in the land refused consent for a Man and Woman (who didn’t want a church wedding), to be allowed to “marry” in the eyes of law, by entering a civil partnership. Currently English law only allows this for single sex relationships.
Marriage is a union articulated by God but adopted by man and in the case of many countries, then adopted into civil law. When the law of the land then moves to hold a different position to scripture, confusion arises.
On the topic of marriage, the Bible is very clear. In Matthew 19:4-5, Jesus reaffirms this: “Have you not read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one’?

There are those who will say this view is narrow- minded, out of date, or even unchristian (by their definition of the latter). I prefer to use a different definition – that it’s a view that is “biblical”.

But this blog isn’t primarily about the nature of marriage. It’s about a bigger principle. Namely this: That when we take truth and dilute or change it, we lose any certainty as to what we believe and the certainty God wants us to have. Pontius Pilate reach this point when he famously remarked “what is truth”? We in this fellowship publish a statement called “What we believe”. It is precisely that. As Baptists, we believe believers baptism is an integral part of that undiluted truth and April Smith’s testimony last month attested to that.
It’s still winter in the UK and temperatures dip below freezing at night. For motorists that means making sure our screenwash doesn’t freeze by carefully following winter rules for diluting concentrate or buying it “ready for use” and not fiddling with it.

The fundamentals of our faith are to be treated the same way, even where we don’t necessarily fully understand them. That’s not being reckless, ignorant or fatalist. No, it’s called exercising faith!

Kevin Borrett


March 2017

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