8.1.2016- The Fallacy of Jeep and Horseback Theology
By Bill Tell, Learning and Development Staff
It was a once-in-a-hundred-year snow storm. I was traveling but Sue was in Colorado at our forest home, elevation 7,540 feet. The Colorado Springs airport was closed for three days and I was stranded in Chicago.
Finally I called Sue and announced that I was on the first flight into Colorado Springs. Her response was “It won't make any difference as you won't be able to get to the house.” I said I could and would. Sue told me again I didn't understand— the snow was drifted to the top of the windows and it would be a long time before our dirt road would get plowed.
Not to be deterred, I flew into Colorado Springs and a friend picked me up in his jeep. He managed to get me to the end of our road but could not go any farther. We had come this far, so I said, "Just let me out. I will walk the rest of the way." Stupidly, I started down our dirt road with all my luggage. The snow was up to the top of my thighs and every step was exhausting. My stupidity was confirmed.
As I crested a rise in our road, our neighbors were digging out, saw me, and came to my rescue with a horse. As I walked in the back door of our house, Sue was totally shocked and asked how I got there. She did not believe me when I said by horseback...and then she saw the horse out the back door!
This is how many of us envision our relationship with God. Jesus gets us 80% of the way to the Father, but then he says "Out you go. If you want to go the rest of the way and be close to God, it's up to you. Work hard and good luck." Theologians have a word for this type of thinking: "baloney." Romans 5:1 tells us that Jesus takes us all the way to the Father..."we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." The word peace does not refer to a feeling. It means restoration of a friendship, to bind back together that which has been broken. Jesus has super-glued us to the Father.
I do not have to put effort into getting close to God. I already am. Jesus has taken me all the way. Now I put effort into experiencing and enjoying the closeness I already have. If God feels far away, He is not. I am simply experiencing the results of my inattention.
Do you have a jeep and horseback theology that needs to change? What would be a first step?
If you have a question or thought you would like to share, email Bill at firstname.lastname@example.org