Private Christian schools, Bible Colleges and Universities, and Seminaries have instilled in us an approved Christian orthodoxy from the cradle to the grave. And woe be it to us if we depart from the accepted path. We’ve heard the same information and answers to all of our questions for so long that only certain conclusions seem reasonable and acceptable to us now.
Tradition, pride, and prejudice die hard. So said a popular minister in Dallas, Texas, this past Sunday (March 5, 2017). How true that is! But how little each of us believes it is true of us personally. I find it interesting that most of us think everyone else is bound by errant traditions, but we have somehow remained free from them. But the truth of the matter is we are all programmed by the messages that we’ve heard all our lives. Few have any interest in even looking into the possibility that they might need to correct some part of what they have been taught. Even though we all come from different traditions, we somehow think that our tradition is, without any doubt, the correct one, and everyone else must adjust to what we believe to be true.
I’m directionally challenged! That is the politically correct way of saying, “I get lost.” I picked my son up at the airport one evening, took the wrong turn because of highway construction and then tried to get back to familiar territory for over one hour and a half. When I see a “detour sign,” my blood press begins to climb, and panic begins its quiet, subtle overthrow of my once calmed emotions because I know I’m about to get lost yet again.
When I get lost, I experience complete disorientation. I forget to ask myself questions like, “where is the sun and what time of day is it?” Yet, with all my disorientation, I feel so confident that the next turn I make will bring me out of this mess. Yet that too is a problem since it leads me to keep going in the wrong direction hoping that it will somehow, eventually lead me back to the right road if I just keep going. Think of me as an example of the nation of Israel in its wilderness wanderings, except on wheels.
Many people are directionally challenged when it comes to finding the correct road to heaven. And this can also create a lot of disorientation and panic.
The problem is exacerbated by the fact that there is a cacophony of voices shouting out different directions, all at the same time.