Seeing With Both Eyes
This is one of the most fascinating topics! It's a bit abstract, but important.
The modern mind naturally compartmentalizes (isolating to seek understanding), yet reality is integrated. We tend to over-emphasize one view, rather than see the stereo perspective with both eyes.
If all of truth is contected, then that means faith and works are connected, fate and freedom, and one lover of God to anonther.
Here are more key examples.
|God is one (person)||God is three (community)|
|God is transcendent (outside us)||God is immanent (in us)|
|Eternity (Author's view)||Time (characters' view)|
|Christ is God (supernatural)||Christ is man (natural)|
|Christ crucified (surrenders)||Christ resurrected (conquers)|
|Faith (love coming in)||Works (love going out)|
|God is obvious||God is hidden|
|Faith (by relational authority)||Reason (by deduction)|
|Faith (by relational by authority)||Science (by test)|
|Faith (by relational by authority)||Revelation (by experience)|
|Subjective (intention)||Objective (act)|
|Waiting (contemplation)||Initiative (action)|
|Witnessing by words||Witnessing by actions|
|Love the sinner||Hate the sin|
|Man is wretched (w/o Christ)||Man is great (w/Christ)|
|Justice (debt paid)||Mercy (debt forgiven)|
|Live in the real||Strive for the ideal|
|God loves as we are||but too much to let stay that way|
|God is easy to please||God is hard to satisfy|
Real World Examples
Are these columns contradictory? No, merely different aspects of one reality. Here are examples showing how familiar, yet apparently irreconcilable things can be integrated:
- Water acts as a solid, gas and a liquid; while always retaining its nature (H20).
- The Heisenberg Uncertainly Principle (1927), foundational to quantum physics, shows the nature of light to be both a particle and a wave (and proves we can never know which for any given point in time).
- Your very own nature is a soul-body compound, not 50%-50%, but 100%-100%.
- Your body's cells are not half from each parent, but all from both.
- True marriage (as it images God) is not 50%-50%, but 100%-100%.
- A man can be both a father and a king; a woman both mother and queen.
- An author can be present to characters in the novel and outside of it.
(Note: The word "balance" shouldn't be used describe the relation, because it implies 50-50, or even compromise. For example, one doesn't have a "balance" between the eyes and hands—rather each acts according to it's true nature. This is part of what's meant by the word "'righteousness." It's right.)
Now here's an example of a spiritual integration: It's often asked "Can God of love have wrath?" Yes. Once a friend of mine received a vision of a horseshoe magnet with one end labeled "Joy" and the other "Wrath". The message: God uses the pair to draw us to himself. Both ends connect. Wrath is the negative polarity of God's love experienced by those who don't want it.
Unless we're able to escape a linear, compartmentalized world view, we won't see things can appear contradictory, when they are not. Many alleged contradictions in the Bible aren't even genuine candidates, but are oversimplified thinking, the inability to experience 3D, to receive the mystery.
Yet Jesus is frequently confounding skeptics with succinct, memorable integrations of truth:
- "Many are called, but few are chosen." [freewill/fate]
- "Be in the world, but not of the world." [body/soul]
- "Act innocent as doves, yet shrewd as snakes." [subjective/objective]
- "Your sins are forgiven; go and sin no more" [sinner/sin]
- "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, render to God what is God's." [character/Author]
The Practical Bottom Line
The key is to take the issue and map it to Christ. So:
- Identify Trends. Each idea, person, culture, etc. will have emphases. For example, medievals were better at "hard" virtues (courage, heroism, fidelity) than at the "soft" ones (compassion, tolerance, mercy); today that is reversed. Yet, Christ has both.
- Notice Gutters. If we're driving our car off the road, God will let us drift until we experience the road shoulder at which point we'll either self-correct or suffer!
- Team Sport. Close Christian fellowship will help identify our blind spots.
- God's Leading. Most importantly, the Holy Spirit will lead us via prayer and let us see with His eyes. There's no substitute for this—because it's not about having a perfect map as much enjoying the Map-maker.
I am here, ready to give more. Where are you? Will you follow Me through this maze of life for which I have the map? How could you ever know the way? Each step is carefully sculpted with a detail you could not know, nor could I explain.
I say trust Me because I would only confuse you and cause you greater strain. Know that I am the God of all. I live in you and therefore I know where I am going, though you don't. I do nothing without a reason. Nothing! Like My Word, I do not waste time, effort, energy. Your life here is too short for that. Believe in Me, for I am your provider.
Walk along side with Me. I am here, with you, loving you, serving you, being in you. I cannot do more right now than I'm already doing. You've got all of Me now—please do not doubt Me or despair, My child. Love moves Me, faith sustains you. Live for Me. I'm taking care of it all.