Friday, June 7, 2013

Into the Grey

Here's June's newsletter article I wrote for Catawba UMC:

There are generally two different types of thinkers in the world, people who think in black and white and people who think in the grey area.  People who think in black and white easily recognize right or wrong on a given issue.  This allows them to easily take a stance on that issue.  They tend to like rules and standards.  They usually have a clear understanding of what they believe and are confident that they are correct in those beliefs.  The greatest strength of people who think in black and white is that they are certain of the truth…however, when that truth is not the truth it also tends to be their biggest weakness. 
People who tend to think in the grey area do not necessarily mind rules as long as there is an understanding that there is always an exception to each particular rule.  Grey area thinkers tend to see good and bad on both sides of an issue.  This doesn’t mean they won’t take a particular position or stance on an issue, it just means they allow the possibility that their minds could be changed.  Grey thinkers can seem wishy-washy at times and uncertain of what they believe.  The greatest strength of grey area thinkers is that their open minds mean they are usually people of grace and understanding.  Their greatest weakness is that the reluctance to take a stance on an issue can quickly turn into apathy and lethargy. 
Our next series will be called Into the Grey and we will explore some of the grey areas we find in the Bible (yes they are there).  If you’ve always held the black and white belief that lying is a sin, two women in the Bible (Jael and Rahab) will enlighten us to the grey area idea of Righteous Deception (Jael’s story is in Judges 4 and Rahab’s is in Joshua 2).  If you don’t believe in “rolling the dice” to make a decision because there always has to be a right and wrong choice, it might surprise you to discover that the disciples cast lots (the same as rolling the dice) to decide on their 12th man after Judas’s spot is left vacant.  And if you think following morality is the end all be all for living a Godly life, wait until you hear what Paul has to say about it.
Those of you who are grey area thinkers will love this series and probably already find yourself in agreement with where it is headed.  However, those of you who think in black and white may be challenged with some of these teachings.  Don’t worry, for all of you black and white thinkers out there I have something special planned for you.  I will either reserve the last message in the series for those issues that the Bible does teach as black and white, or I will end the Into the Grey series and do an entirely new series on black and white issues. 

Either way, just know that my commitment is to make the teaching Biblical and helpful for all of us since we live in a culture that often confronts us with issues that can be challenging to navigate. 

                                                                                                                        Pastor Rich

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