HUMILITY and ORTHODOXY
Alex Haley, author of Roots, had a picture in his office of a turtle sitting on top of a fence post. When you see a turtle sitting on a fence post, you know that he didn’t get there by himself; he had to have some help. That’s why Haley kept the picture in his office. He said, “Anytime I start thinking, ‘Wow. Isn’t it marvelous what I have done?’ I look at that picture and remember how this turtle got up on that post.” He didn’t get there by himself!
As a kid I remember the cartoon Underdog. Underdog was a superhero that frequently saved the world from certain doom at the hands of his arch-villain, Simon Bar-Sinister. When he wasn’t saving the world, he was a lowly shoeshine boy. At the beginning of every episode you would see him shining shoes. The customer would give him a nickel and say something like, “Thank you shoe shine boy. You’re humble and lovable.”
Check out Philippians 2:3-5 “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus.”
In Josh Harris’ book “Humble Orthodoxy” he desires to encourage Christians to hold the truth high without putting people down. He calls for Christians to be guided by both truth and love, to be guided in equal measure by orthodoxy and humility, qualities that are complementary, not in opposition to one another. J.D. Greear says in his foreword, “Getting doctrine right is a matter of life and death, but holding that doctrine in the right spirit is essential too. A great deal of damage is done by those who hold the truth of Christ with the spirit of Satan.”
The Bible does not allow us to choose between orthodoxy and humility, but insists that we need both in equal measure, and assures us that through the Holy Spirit we can be humbly orthodox. The following is a quote by John Stott, which speaks to this very thing:
Thank God there are those in the contemporary church who are determined at all costs to defend and uphold God’s revealed truth. But sometimes they are conspicuously lacking in love. When they think they smell heresy, their nose begins to twitch, their muscles ripple, and the light of battle enters their eye. They seem to enjoy nothing more than a fight. Others make the opposite mistake. They are determined at all costs to maintain and exhibit brotherly love, but in order to do so are prepared even to sacrifice the central truths of revelation. Both these tendencies are unbalanced and unbiblical. Truth becomes hard if it is not softened by love; love becomes soft if it is not strengthened by truth. The apostle calls us to hold the two together, which should not be difficult for Spirit-filled believers, since the Holy Spirit is himself ‘the spirit of truth,’ and his first fruit is ‘love.” There is no other route than this to a fully mature Christian unity.
See You Sunday,