Everyone has to live for something – believe in something. Whether we realize it or not, we all have a “doctrine”, a set of belief – something we live and die by. We live by these beliefs regardless of how liberal or conservative we may be. It can be something as simple as helping the poor, vowing to never speak an unkind word, or picketing a conservative group.
When the Occupy Wall Street movement started some years ago, I always felt that it lacked definition and focus. It put on the face of a “revolution”, but at the same time, stood for nothing tangible. It had the appearance of being against everything and yet standing for nothing in particular. G.K. Chesterton puts it beautifully:
“The new rebel is a skeptic, and will not trust anything . . . but] therefore he can never be really a revolutionary. For all denunciation implies a moral doctrine of some kind . . . Therefore the modern man in revolt has become practically useless for all purposes of revolt. By rebelling against everything he has lost his right to rebel against anything.”
Is it possible that some people insist on opposing everything because if they believed in something substantial, then they would have to stand by it? They would in practice be admitting to absolutes.
“You gotta serve somebody” said the Bob Dylan song – This rings true here. Those who imply “No moral absolutes” can never be absolutely sure.
With God, there are no arm chair critics. To sit on the sidelines is to make your choice of what your doctrine will be. To be against everything is to choose to weasel out of making a real choice and then standing by it. A real revolutionary chooses and stands for something.
Even God stands for something. Some modern-day Bible teachers have tried to eliminate the doctrine of hell from God’s plan – but this would foolishly imply that God stands for nothing.
What is your doctrine?
“And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
Joshua 24:15 (ESV)