Today’s offering will overarchingly impact many of the topics to follow. Especially in a short-distanced race, how you start is important. But no matter the distance, where you start is everything. In thinking of this discussion, my mind immediately went back to an event that I remembered from my childhood. On April 21, 1980, Rosie Ruiz won the Boston Marathon by entering the race near the finish line, ahead of all the other female runners. She was stripped of her victory eight days later. You can’t start the race wherever you want to and expect to win.
This matters in discussions of psychology. To get to the heart of an issue you must begin with the core problem. It matters in discussions of biology. To make life you cannot start with nothing… it doesn’t work that way. So too, it matters in discussions of theology (your view of God). To get God’s perspective, you must know what God says about a certain thing.
Many good and well-meaning people end up with all sorts of strange opinions because when they start forming their convictions of what God might think about a certain thing, they start in the wrong places. Most of these wrong places are, on the face, born of good intentions and include things like: their own consciences, trust in the goodness of people, genuine compassion, having the good outweigh the bad… and the like.
The best place to start (and end, for that matter) in all of these discussions is with the Scriptures. If the Bible is truly the Word of God (another discussion we will dig down on), how can one start any place else? Could there possibly be a better place to go to begin to understand what God thinks about a certain thing (theology), than to listen to and attempt to discern his mind in his very words – from the horse’s mouth (as they say).
So I don’t automatically or necessarily think that people who end up with some far-out view of God are evil. Any one of us who does not pay attention to and choose well where we start our thinking about a thing is certain to end up in a place that is away from God’s intended best. Where you start is everything.