I admit that as long as I can remember I have been inclined to think outside the box. It is sometimes gotten me in a heap of trouble. I remember at around age five asking, “Why does out church exclude non-white members?” I also asked, somewhere in that same time frame, “Why do males only get to speak and preach?” A little later I asked, “Why do Baptists think they are the only really faithful Christians?” Such questions got me in trouble with Sunday School teachers and others in authority.
I believe some of this is simply a part of the way God made me. Yet I also remain surprised at how little some Christians think about thinking. Why do we do refuse to think and ask questions? I think a major reason is fear. Another is the lack of love and prejudice.
I do not think I’ve ever quoted General George C. Patton but in this case he said something rather profound: “When everyone is thinking the same thing no one is thinking.” Leaders should always think and never the same thing. This is even more true of Christian leaders if I read the Bible correctly at all. None of us possesses all truth and when thinking is low, or we all agree, something not so good has happened to us.
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I have been reading Rob Bell’s book “Love Wins” and I have been really enjoying it because he likes to ask a lot of ‘out the box’ questions. Even if people don’t like some of his answers, his book certainly opens up a discussion on issues like hell and salvaton that many Christians don’t really think deep much about at all.
In the end, I too am concerned that we can’t even have a discussion these days without people reacting so badly and getting mad. I sometimes think, if love does not win in the end (at least among our discussions), then maybe we should not say anything at all.
The comment is from George S. Patton, but the picture is of George C. Scott! (Of course, when that picture was taken, Scott was playing Patton in a movie, but it’s still not the same thing….)
Of course the photo is of Scott! I knew I couldn’t fool everyone. Shows I make more than a few mistakes in editing my own posts. Thanks for correcting me.