For you who clicked here thinking you may be receiving a public apology or reading a confession, this isn’t that blog post. The other day a pastor friend of mine shared that he was at a conference. He also shared a place that I could watch who and what he was watching – a speech from a very famous person in Bible scholar circles, whom most of you have never heard of – Walter Brueggemann. And Brueggemann said God is not perfect, but He is faithful. I probably listen to 7 sermons a week and pastors often say things I disagree with. I went to seminary and professors said things I disagreed with. I’ll always remember Professor David Watson, who was teaching a class I took on the New Testament, telling us on the first day that “70% of what he taught would be right and 30% would be wrong”. He didn’t know what the 30% wrong was or he would have omitted that. He was doing his best to teach what he believed was right, even though he was admitting that he was undoubtedly wrong about some of it. And I feel the same way about myself when I’m teaching/preaching – doing my best, wrong about some of it.
By this time, I hope you didn’t just gloss over the “God is not perfect, but He is faithful”. We’re going back to that. If God is not perfect, I don’t know how you could make the argument that He is perfectly faithful. You’d almost have to say, “He’s pretty faithful”. Or would you argue that He is perfectly faithful, but not perfectly forgiving? Or He is not perfectly loving? Or His ways are not perfect? I know I’m not perfect and I know Brueggemann’s not perfect, but that’s a pretty big one to get wrong. God is not perfect? Then how could you trust Him? When He struck down Uzzah in 2 Samuel 6:7 for touching the Ark of the Covenant, did God tell Uzzah – “My bad, Uzzah”? I don’t think so. I believe there are just things that our eight pound heads simply can’t understand about God.
Another theologian, author Leslie Weatherhead wrote a book called The Will of God and in it said that God’s will when Jesus came to earth was that Jesus lead the people of Israel, but when they rejected Jesus and killed Him that God had to go to plan B, as if God had hoped they would not kill Jesus.
Sometimes when you disagree with me, I’m wrong. But you must also understand that sometimes when you disagree with me, you’re wrong. And there are things I say or interpret from the Bible that you can disagree with and you’re right about and I’m wrong about, but you can still sit under my preaching/teaching. But there are also deal breakers. Jesus came to earth to go to the cross to pay for our sins. It was God’s perfect plan.
If a preacher is preaching that God is not perfect, you need to get out of there. And how could you sit under preaching that says there are many ways to God other than Jesus? If there was a way that did not cost the Son of God this excruciating death on the cross, then it would have been foolish for God to send Jesus to die on the cross. Instead, He could have simply have let us know of this “other” way. And if everyone’s going to heaven, why risk your life in dangerous places to tell people about Jesus?
Just because you and I can’t understand His ways, it doesn’t make Him wrong. Sometimes I’m wrong, but I’m betting my life that I’m right about Jesus. And if you or I ever disagree with God, we can be 100% sure that we’re the ones that are wrong.