Saturday, June 12, 2010

Indecision

"Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes" (Ephesians 6:11 NIV).

Some people are indecisive by nature. We all recognize these people immediately, since they are the ones in the group who are hemming and hawing when a decision needs to be made.  In fact, the phrase "hem and haw" is a good description. In older English "to hem" was a sound (like a half cough) one made to attract attention, give warning, or express hesitation.  It comes through in modern English when we say "ahem" (usually through a fake cough). "Haw", on the other hand, was the 16th century version of "um" or "uh".  It was a little sound one made when unconsciously expressing hesitation. A pattern of indecision reveals a person who lacks confidence.

But there is another type of indecisive person that many wouldn't immediately recognize.  This is the individual who is exceptionally brilliant.  Ever studying and researching various scholarly opinions, this person has made a life out of analyzing other points of view.  The quest is not so much for truth as it is for views about truth.

Imagine if someone took such an approach to the Word of God? Whether is be a seminary professor, a church pastor, or an armchair theologian, it is one who is fascinated by theories and opinions.  Never coming to a conclusion, this is a person who rises higher in human knowledge but remains spiritually stagnant.  John Owen, the great Puritan scholar, goes even further when he says ""Intellects which are willing to drift backwards and forwards on the ebb and flow of the tides of changing theories will, at the end, be driven by the winds of uncertainty into the quicksands of atheism." This doesn't mean that one must be dogmatic about every little theological issue. But it does mean that we must firmly stand on the central truths of the Christian faith.  The ultimate destination of indecision concerning the things of God is full-fledged atheism.

The German mathematician Heinz Hopf once wrote, "Indecision is debilitating; it feeds upon itself; it is, one might almost say, habit-forming. Not only that, but it is contagious; it transmits itself to others."  No wonder the Apostle Paul urged the Ephesian believers to take a stand. We live in a world where there is a battle for our hearts and minds.  As believers, both belong to God.  Take a stand.

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