The Chair

Okay, so imagine this situation… you wake up in a pitch black room. It is so dark you cannot see your hand in front of your face (or anything else for that matter). You have no memory of how you got there or even where you are for that matter. All you know is that you are seated in a chair. That chair is the only certain thing in your life at that moment. The chair now becomes your anchor. You are able to stand up and start taking cautious baby steps around the room as long as you know how far away you are from the chair. Now you have a standard to measure how big the room is, what all is in the room, how you can move from one place to another in the incredible darkness… all because of the chair.

Then let’s say you do something really crazy: you put wheels on the chair. After all, if the chair has wheels then you take it with you wherever you go. It can be a place of comfort all around the room and give you rest from all your exploration in the darkness. There is just one problem with your crazy action: you no longer have an anchor point. You have no way of judging where you are in the room and where everything else is because you have taken away your fixed point of reference.[1]

This is the problem our nation (and world by extension) has found itself in. Once upon a time we had a fixed point of reference to navigate the spiritual darkness of the world. We were able to use it to make judgments and decisions on what is right and what is wrong. This anchor allowed us to work our way around the tough situations life sent our way and be able to always come back to ‘the chair’. We never had to worry about where we were or being lost as long as ‘the chair’ was in one place.

This fixed point of reference was the Bible.  But sadly, we have put wheels on the chair. We have allowed moral relativism (“Have it your way”) and religious pluralism (“Can’t we all just get along?”) to take our anchor away from us and now we drift aimlessly on the sea of despair. All of this is because we have lost our fixed point of reference. It was not meant to be a bad thing. We just wanted everyone to be happy. We changed the truth just a little here and there so that it looked right and made everyone okay with each other. We figured if we took away confrontation then everyone would live in peace.

When we put wheels on the chair we lost where we were in the dark room. By taking away the authority of the Bible we have lost our standard for right and wrong. Who are we to tell people what is right and wrong in their lives? Isn’t that just Christians being judgmental? Didn’t Jesus tell his followers not to judge? Here we have a case of twisted scripture (no, not the 80’s band). We have allowed moral relativism and religious pluralism to keep us from doing exactly what Jesus wanted: to save people from eternity in hell.

Here then, is the application for the week: to know God’s will we must know God’s word. Jackie Watts and I debate the author of this phrase so I’ll give it to him this time. (*smile*) We cannot just sit back and let the pastors, evangelists, ministers, and teachers do the hard work. We must read the Bible ourselves and do what it says. Then when tough situations come around we can call a spade a spade. We can point out truth apart from the lies our culture is asking us to swallow.

Check out this passage from Psalms 119:

[57] Lord, you are mine!
I promise to obey your words!

[58]With all my heart I want your blessings.
Be merciful as you promised.

[59] I pondered the direction of my life,
and I turned to follow your laws.

[60]I will hurry, without delay,
to obey your commands.

[61]Evil people try to drag me into sin,
but I am firmly anchored to your instructions.

How do I do that? Where do I start? Here are 3 things you can do this week to begin to start learning God’s word so that you can define truth in life once again:

1. Read your Bible daily.

Don’t read one single verse because that can ruin the context. Instead read a chapter each day this week and begin to mentally chew on what it says as well as how you can apply it to your life.

2. Read or listen to so material by a credible Christian teacher.

When my car has trouble I go to a mechanic. I don’t have to be the expert to learn from one. Find a good Christian teacher who knows their stuff and listen to what they say.  Then see if it matches up with what the Bible really says.

3. Seek out a friend who has different views that you do and chat with them.

This is a great way to learn about views outside your own social bubble. By chatting with someone about their spiritual background and sharing yours you can start to compare what the Bible calls truth and what the world has asked us to believe. You may even get to share the truth of Jesus Christ and his awesome ability to rescue us from our own disobedience to God!

Let this week be a first step (or a 100th step for some) to get you out of the darkness and back to a fixed point of reference. Don’t allow culture to dictate what you believe and begin to let God’s word do that for you. Remember: to know God’s will you must know his word.


[1] This metaphor was taken from Frank Paretti’s message entitled ‘The Chair’. See this link for more information: http://www.compass.org/store/products/-The-Chair-(Best-Seller)-%252d-Frank-Peretti-(Digital-Video-%26-MP3-Audio-Downloads-Only).html

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