“Do I believe the Word of God is infallible and absolute? Yes, I do. Do I believe that my, or anyone else’s, understanding and interpretation is infallible and absolute? Absolutely not.”

My dad wrote those words several weeks ago. And not long afterwards I ran across The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe while channel surfing.

I first read The Chronicles of Narnia as a child. Chronicles I loved them. I loved Lucy. I wanted to be like her. She trusted Aslan so completely, even though she didn’t trust herself all the time. But I’m more an Edmund or a Eustace. But I think I’ll save those “lessons” for another post. What really happened when I watched the movie again the other night is I thought about the seventh book (funny that the first book made me think of the last one).

I think it’s because of my dad’s words. They were bouncing around in my head and that brought up CS Lewis’ character from The Last Battle, Emeth. Emeth always fascinated me as a child and as an adult when I re-read the series. Emeth has an encounter with Aslan when everyone goes “further up and further in.” While watching the proceedings before going through the stable doors Emeth wonders why his god has not struck down those that have mocked Tash. When he encounters Aslan, Emeth tells him honestly, “I have been seeking Tash all my days.” Aslan says back to him, “Beloved. . .unless thy desire had been for me thou wouldst not have sought so long and so truly. For all find what they truly seek.” LastBattle

I’m not sure why my dad’s words and this particular section of the series have tied together in my mind unless it’s because I’ve been singularly challenged in the last few months by the differences in denominations. It seems when we say, wow, that’s different it often is interpreted as “that’s wrong.”

But is it?

John 14:6 says “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” If my denomination and your denomination believe that simple fact, then we are the same. How the Holy Spirit leads us to interpret some of the other verses or leads us to worship, well, I can’t find anything that gives me the authority to say you’re wrong and I’m right.  Just different. Paul says in I Corinthians and Romans that we are not to cause each other to stumble and in I Thessalonians 5:11 he tells us to encourage one another and build each other up. If we are constantly saying that you’re wrong, then how is that encouraging you to be in the Word and allow the Holy Spirit to work in you?

I feel that CS Lewis is on to something when he has Aslan say to Emeth that when you truly seek you will find. It mirrors Christ’s words in Matthew 7:8 “For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”  Who am I to judge your intentions, the purity of your seeking, and the heart of your worship?

And I think my dad is on to something as well. The Holy Spirit leads the interpretation of the Word.

We are all different. But perhaps we should start looking for the things that are the same.