Everything He makes has a counterpart. Day has night. Sun has the moon. Ocean has land. Every creature is part of its own species, according to its kind.
And then it changed. On the afternoon of the sixth day, suddenly God changes how He’s doing his creating, and when God changes something, I want to pay attention. I want to learn.
Suddenly, God moves from singular to plural, and He changes so completely that He did the plural thing twice in the same day!
The first plural is about him: “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness….’” Now, for the first time, God does something as an “Us!”
Up until this point, it’s just been “creation as usual.” Make a planet. Check. Make some oceans. Check. Make some plants and animals. Check, check.
But suddenly, it’s like God steps up, He gathers His Trinity about him, and now He is fully present: “Let Us do this. Let Us make something to be the counterpart of Us!” This will be His masterpiece.
And God, in His fullness, created his masterpiece, and that masterpiece is another Plural Thing, and it was us! You and me! The first words with which God describes humanity are plural! “These are the one ones made in Our image. Let them have dominion ….”
God did all the rest of creation as a “He,” but when it came time to make humanity, He says, “Let Us do this.” And the product of that creativity is not a thing, and it's not a species, it’s a race of individuals. It’s a community of humanity to whom He gives authority.
He made us so uniquely that the angels watched us curiously. What a thing He has done. A race, a community. Made in His image. Carrying His authority. Us.
I think we’ve missed this one sometimes as well. I’ve been browbeaten in the name of “unity” to do the thing that the browbeater is doing, in the way the browbeater is doing it, rather than playing my own part on my own instrument. I’m not sure that browbeating someone into submission is the best method of achieving beautiful music. I grieve that we’ve done that.
The fact that we don’t see as much of Father’s hand being moved by unit may be a good clue: maybe the way we’ve been striving for unit isn’t the most effective way.
More to the point, the trombonist will never be judged for how well he played the second violin’s part. His only reward will come from how well the trombone part came out when it was called upon.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen it happen, but you probably have seen it as many times as I have: someone, somewhere – let’s call him Henry – posts an opinion online. Fine. All is well and good.
Then some fundamentalist Christian sees that post! Far too often, the Christian ignores the heart of what they said, but finds some little detail that they don’t agree with, and they tell them why they’re so wrong. Others join in, and soon we have a feeding frenzy, rapid-fire accusations of all kinds of nasty things, all on account of a detail.
• We are on Facebook, not in theology class. The requirement of rigorously defending one's theology is different in a social environment, such as Facebook, than in an educational environment. I will not demand that someone quote chapter and verse, listing supporting papers for their position, while we're sitting at a dinner table among friends who have no idea what we're talking about.
• Some among us are teachers, and as such, they have a standard that we must live up to. Most people online are not teachers, though their post sounds a little like they’re trying to teach. I will not hold him to the same standard that I hold teachers to. The James 3:1 kind of thing. We don’t hold kids just learning to hear God’s voice to the same standard we hold a mature prophet, do we?
• I do not have my theology perfect. I don't know where it's wrong, and I work hard at correcting it where I find errors. But I am aware that I don't completely agree with ANYone's theology, including my own. Let’s quit arguing about insignificant theology. Who cares if it reminds you of some hated heresy of the past? That’s not the point of their post! Get over it! Move on!
• I tend to agree with
• Likewise: I'm far more interested in the fruit that comes from a your life than I am the doctrinal correctness that comes from your teaching. That is NOT to say that good doctrine is unimportant: it IS to say that good doctrine is not preeminent over living out that truth which we already know.
• Authority to teach comes from God. But my authority to teach YOU comes from YOU and nobody else. If
Brothers and sisters, please hear me. Unity isn’t about everybody agreeing with your personal pet doctrines. In fact, unity is not about doctrine at all. Unity is about us all having one father, and a very good heavenly one, and trusting each other to follow Him. Agreeing isn’t part of that equation, and agreeing with YOU is completely off the topic. If I’m following the same Father you are, then eventually, we’ll get to the place where you and I see the main things through His eyes, and we see the peripheral things through our individual assignments. We probably won’t ever agree on the details.
I am not saying that doctrine doesn’t matter. I’m saying people matter more.