Thinking Aloud... Too Narrow... or Too Broad?
By Paul Ravenhill

What is God's measure for life?

The majority of people fall into one of two camps, both mistaken...
          They either believe life to be: Too Narrow
                                                  or Too Broad.

Those "Too Narrow" are those whose understanding of God and the Christian life is based on verses, teachings, doctrines, to the exclusion of all else-These are like the children who "join the dots" to try to find the hidden picture in their coloring book. The problem is that when all is finished (even if all dots are joined perfectly)
          the picture is too limited,
          too angular,
          too lacking in all that is life and movement.

Those "Too Broad" are those whose life is a gathering together of experiences, emotions, happenings. These are the ones who include anything, and anyone, purporting to speak positively and draw forth emotional release and satisfaction - These are like the children who, drawing without dots, paint their pictures with very little idea of the dimensions of the reality they seek to represent.

This "Broadness" seems to be the prevailing atmosphere in which the church lives today. Things are judged (and indulged in) by their visible surface manifestations, without examination of the rightness or wrongness of what it is all built upon, and what it all means. Everything seems disconnected from reality, and in this unreal church world one feels at times like the little dog at the circus - caught in the dilemma of having to stand up on its hind legs and beg showing its unconditional allegiance, or not be considered a part of things.

Not all doctrine is the same, not all churches are the same - and as Spurgeon expressed, "It will not do for us all to be united together by yielding to one another's mistakes."

The Holy Ghost is to convict of 1) sin, 2) righteousness and 3) judgment - that is
          1. To show what is wrong
          2. To show what is right
          3. To show the difference... to separate one from the other.

If, when God draws the line between good and evil, He finds that our line is not drawn in the same place as His then it is sin and we are to be held accountable.

What is God's measure for life?

True Christianity is a balance between the reality of the Narrow and the Broad.

We need the baselines of the narrow, we need the truth represented by the dots - the teachings and principles of the Word of God,
          We need those deep and sure foundations which are the unchangeable base of all our lives in God.

But, also, we need the Broad - the life open to the Spirit of God Who moves as the wind in utter freedom. We need the guidance, quickening, uplifting, and empowering of the Holy Spirit - We need the flow of the Light and Life of eternity in all our ways and through all our days.

Copyright © Paul Ravenhill 1997 -