I Was Just Thinking About – FINDING FAULTS.
The Covenant College View – Autumn 2018 – has as its cover “Fault Lines.” The supporting article states: “In 2007, the Colombian artist Doris Salcedo made a literal crack in an art museum floor. But this was not a little crack. It was a meandering, 548-foot-long crack that began as a hairline fracture and then grew to about a foot at its widest point. And it wasn’t in just any museum. This was the Tate Modern, home of Britain’s national collection of modern and contemporary art…The reaction was mixed. Thousands of people came to see it. Many, yes, cracked jokes. Others, like the woman who was on her phone and looking for friends, tripped. The New York Times reported one tourist stating, “Art is dangerous sometimes.” And indeed, Salcedo’s crack was dangerous in at least two ways. (1) It was a threat to people who weren’t paying attention, and (2) it was a threat to people who preferred to not think about ruptures in their own lives and systems.”
There is an obvious spiritual application when it comes to Fault Lines and Finding Fault within the body of believers. It comes about when people have different aspirations, goals and vision. When a contrary position is espoused or being implemented, then finding fault becomes an increasing reality. One of the classic passages occurs in the life and journey of Moses. After he becomes God’s chosen leader for the Exodus and leading the people to The Promised Land, his brother and sister become fault-finders. Numbers 12:1-2 records: “Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married, for he had married a Cushite woman. And they said: Has the Lord indeed spoken only through Moses? Has he not spoken through us also?” They did not approve of Moses’ choice of a wife and voiced their fault-finding to the Lord. The Lord responded by bringing judgment – leprosy – on Miriam for seven days.
In Numbers 13, Moses has sent out 12 spies into the designated Promised Land. Ten return with a good report about the land but say they should not seek to enter it at this time because of the obstacles and challenges. Two of the spies – Joshua and Caleb – brought back a similar report about the land – but – were confident they were well-able to overcome the obstacles and challenges as God helped them to do it.
Moses opts to give heed to the two positive spies and determines they will move toward the Promised Land. The people would rather not and register their protest and complaint – Numbers 14:1-4 – and state their fault-finding in no uncertain terms: “All the congregation raised a loud cry, and the people wept that night. And all the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The whole congregation said to them: Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! Why is the Lord bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become a prey. Would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt? And they said to one another: Let us choose a leader and go back to Egypt.” The Lord is ready to strike them with pestilence and disinherit them (verses 11-12) because they were murmuring and complaining against God’s will and plan for their good.
Within the body of believers, there is often fault finding that is a product of frustration, different mindsets and authoritarian instincts. It coincides with the hackneyed expression of every one wants to be Chief and no one is willing to be an Indian. Despite the fact that Jesus condemns fault-finding - Matthew 7:1-3 – “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” This is reiterated in James 4:11-12, “Do not speak evil against one another. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?”
How is it with YOU? Are you on the same page with YOUR brothers and sisters in Christ? Are YOU in accord with God’s will, plan and vision for His people and His Church?
Prayerfully – consider these things with me!