In our country, the Supreme Court can make a ruling where 5 of 9 judges agree and 4 dissent and the outcome becomes the Law of the land. The decisions they make are far reaching and long standing in forming the direction that our country takes, good or bad. Some people agree with the decisions and others do not.
This happens on a local level as well. Consider the many recent rulings that have taken place around the country concerning the actions of police officers. Some of the situations have brought about indictments and even convictions of officers. Other cases have found that the actions did not merit any charges against the officers. With that, the public agrees or disagrees and there is often much clatter among those who do not agree with the court’s decision.
As the LCMS approaches its Synodical convention in July, this is something that plays out in our church body as well. There will be, as there have in the past, decisions made that some will abide by and will embitter others. This goes so far as to even cause some people to consider leaving the Church body.
Let’s bring it down another level. There are decisions that are made by voters’ assemblies within churches which some people agree with and others do not. At times this has resulted in some who rather loudly lamented the decisions or even have left the congregations because they did not agree.
On a more singular level, there have been decisions that have been made by pastors which some folks in the churches have agreed with and others disagreed. Even these have at times made for feelings of consternation among the laity, resulting in bad feelings and folks skipping church.
Then, there is the Word of God. The voice inside my head recalls the Jim Nabors’ show back in the 60s called Gomer Pyle, Pyle’s phrase, “Surprise, Surprise, Surprise,” people don’t agree. In everything up to this last point I can perceive why some people might have a variety of opinions which run counter to any decisions made. But, when it comes to God’s Word, there should not be any arguing, voting, or reason to even consider making a “decision” on the veracity of what is said (at least not among any who would call themselves Christian).
God did not give us a Word that is unclear in the areas that pertain to our salvation or to His expectations for us as His children/disciples. Where God has said something is good, who are we to judge? The same goes when God speaks concerning what is evil, sinful or even in some cases an abomination. “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter” (Isaiah 5:20).
Evangelist Billy Graham once wrote, “Someone has said: ‘A wrong deed is right if the majority of people declare it not to be wrong.’ By this principle we can see our standards shifting from year to year according to the popular vote!” We need to get our values straight with God and then start working in reverse of this letter. From being right with God all the way back to getting things right in our country. If we all submitted to God’s authority, then the other areas of life would begin to work out better because the faithfulness of a country (or any group of people) depends on the faithfulness of the individuals who make it up. It all starts with God and obeying Him. Or, if you will not yield to God, well “Surprise, Surprise, Surprise” the old beer commercial is right “It doesn’t (or wont’) get any better than this”