A few days ago I witnessed a conversation between two respectable Christians that were attempting a “debate” on the end times in a less than worthy manner. I am not writing this to shame them in any way because they are older and thus to be honored. But it’s not the first time I see this and I thought that even though my opinion is irrelevant, I would still like to address this issue.
I have seen it many times. Someone is trying to share their opinion on a certain topic and then another one comes along with a different interpretation and then sparks fly. They call each other names “in love” (I do not wish to know what that would sound like without “love”) and the one that has more support from the audience is considered to be right and the other is considered ‘in all kindness’ wrong and behind his back a liar that was attempting to lead others astray with his/her bad understanding of the Scriptures. Inevitably the audience chooses one side or another and those that can’t make up their mind or just plainly get a headache from the whole exchange will just say “why are there so many opinions on this topic? Why can’t we all agree on something?” which sounds very ‘unifying’ but in fact is just wishful thinking that everybody would have their view, something like ‘can’t we all believe like I do?’ And if the answer to that isn’t obvious, no, we can’t.
There are core beliefs that are not up for debate, like Yeshua’s sacrifice for instance, His death and resurrection in the body and if someone refutes it, is considered a heretic. But there are other issues like the end times for instance and understanding them is not considered paramount for one’s salvation. On this subject people can research to their heart’s delight and come up with a thousand theories but they will be just that: theories, because we simply don’t have enough information to interpret things ‘correctly’. Some might argue with that and say ‘what are you talking about? Of course we have enough information!’ and to that I can just shake my head and say ‘anyways…’
I have a TV show I follow and even before the next episode is released there are fanatics of the show that know every possible detail and have read the books (even if the show doesn’t follow the book to the letter) and these people make all kinds of predictions about what will happen next. And the amount of theories out there is mind blowing and some get it right but not entirely, because unless you are the one writing the script or part of the cast, all you get is theories. It’s the same with the end time theories.
But I don’t wish to talk about the book of Revelation, but about a behavior. I keep hearing people throwing the word ‘truth’ in to conversations like them claiming it makes them right. And we all want to be right, whether it’s with our life-style, our beliefs or our morals, we want to get it right and be right when presenting it to others. But here’s the tricky part:
Truth, like all abstract concepts is quite hard to define. At least our understanding of it. Philosophers have tried it ever since they discovered they can think and thus exist, but all they get are attempts at defining it in grossly exaggerated generalizations. But one thing we know is, that it’s never a notion that can be taken just by itself. In a worldly view it’s tied to knowledge, experience, facts filtered through one’s senses. In HaShem’s view it’s tied to Life.
When Yeshua claimed to be “The Way, The Truth and The Life” it should have told us something. He’s the Truth that leads to Life. Can there be truth that leads to death? Of course. When ha nachash (the snake) spoke to Chava (Eve) in Gan HaEden (Garden of Eden) he didn’t lie. But his truth led to death. When the nachash spoke to Yeshua trying to tempt Him, he didn’t lie. But his truth was worthless. Being right is not the point, brothers. A truth that makes others feel worthless is not Yeshua’s truth. You can be right, but it doesn’t make it right. You can be right until you’re blue in the face, but if whatever truth you have doesn’t lead to Life, it’s worthless.
I’m not saying to not speak up for what is right, on the contrary, you should. Yeshua did. All I’m saying is check yourself that you are seeking to bring Life.
I’d rather have love than be right. And believe me when I say I love to be right. I’m not proud of it. But I like it. I have spent many years studying to have the most accurate definitions for everything I believe in and I don’t think I wasted my time. But even so, I’d rather have love than be right. Because when The End will come and we will see Him face to face, He will ask me how much I resembled Him. He is Love. And that’s not some cheesy notion that I throw around to sound spiritual. It’s a fact.
You want to be right? Love. Like Rabbi Hillel said “Love your neighbor as yourself – This is the whole Torah. The rest is commentary —“
Bat Melech בת מלך