Drawing the Line


“You’ve got to draw the line somewhere.”  “A line in the sand.”

Conventional wisdom, to be sure.  But is it Biblical?

Over and over again Jesus seemed to cross lines rather than draw lines.  Casting first stones, eating with unclean and outcasts, welcoming prodigals home against all conventions.  “No one comes to the Father but by me” might be considered a line, but there are many ways to understand those words of Jesus.  Really — there are.  I suppose hating my mother and brothers might also be a line that Jesus suggests.  Cross-bearing seems to be one, too.  Selling possessions, taking only one coat, and not storing up treasures probably qualify too.  Or do we consider those open to interpretation?  Which begs the question, why interpret those lines but not others?

I’m baiting the conversation, of course.  I am suspicious of certitude and those who are willing to claim to know the mind and heart of God.  There are lots of examples of line drawing on God’s part, but most of those lines seem to get blurred — by God.  “Don’t eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil for the day you eat of it you will die.”  They did eat.  They didn’t die.  God blurred that line.  “So the Lord said, ‘I will blot out the human beings I created…'”  But then God had a change of heart (or was it mind?) and remembered Noah.  Noah wasn’t blotted out.  Noah and his family were human beings.  God blurred that line.  I could go on and on, but the point has been made.  God might draw lines, but God also blurs lines.

So when people make absolute claims about what God will do and what God won’t do, I am suspicious of those claims.  I’m not sure that we can draw a line around God like that.

And if Jesus (or any other person of the Trinity) DOES draw a line, I wonder what shape that line is?

~ by Jeff P-D on October 8, 2008.

3 Responses to “Drawing the Line”

  1. Perhaps a circle that envelops all of us?

    pace, david

  2. The line you speak about, I believe, prune the hearts of those willing to seek out truth. I appreciate your thoughts, and there is someone else who looks beyond a socially acceptable Christian faith.

  3. AWESOME post! Thanks Jeff.

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