Starting Points#5. “Truth and Opinions.”

Starting Points#5. “Truth and Opinions.”

Good comedians are experts at challenging tightly held beliefs. They can make everybody laugh at themselves for holding on to ideas that have long since passed their use-by dates.

But not every man is going to sit and laugh as his long-held beliefs are challenged; least of all by a man who makes light of everything.

To this man, his beliefs are no sacred cows to be slaughtered on the altar of humour, but instead are well-established facts!

However, even he will agree that one man’s fact is another man’s opinion. He, of course, believes that he is fact, and yours is opinion. That, I assure you, he is willing to laugh at.

I have said on more than one occasion that “the pulpit is no place for political opinions.” Not because all political opinions are wrong (or even always out of place), but because politics is by its very nature divisive.

Sometimes to show respect for their preferred government, a Christian will attribute them with authority that belongs only to God. We must forever remember that where a worldly authority contradicts God, “we must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). The Bible remains our only source of truth!

As much as we might like to think otherwise, unwelcome opinions are as unavoidable as death and taxes.

But not all opinions are unwelcome. Various views and preferences bring colour and vitality to conversations and projects. And believe it or not, just as much as an opinionated preacher can be a bore, a preacher without an opinion can be just as boring.

As a church, we want to know what everyone is thinking. This helps to bring out the best of our God-given personalities. It is by patient, dynamic listening that we best hold each other’s ideas up to the light of God’s Word to be tested.

Amongst the good opinions, there are going to be bad opinions, stupid opinions, and even ones inconsistent with God’s will. How we handle the latter will show how much we love each other.

Remember the Golden Rule:
“Treat others the same way you want them to treat you” (Lk.6:31)….that’s not my opinion!

John Staiger


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