Monday, April 11, 2005

Declaring nakedness

John Hickey at Biblical Theology 2005 considers the role of the truth-telling little boy in the story of "The Emperor's New Clothes" (HT: NT Gateway Weblog). What place, he wonders, does that little boy's role have in the church:
Indeed, for story to work its magic, there must be conflict and there must be those who are willing to stand as that boy and say “The Emperor has no clothes.” In Paul’s version of the Jerusalem council, this is exactly the role he chooses to play (See Galatians, chapter 2). In this situation, Paul recognizes that he isn’t called to put on new clothes of “niceness” (especially when those clothes are primarily constructed out of an aesthetic of niceness), but rather to don “the whole armor of light” (Eph. 6:10-20).

While we may employ weapons such as kindness and patience, we must never lose sight that we are wearing armor because we are in a struggle. We may walk in newness of life, but we still walk in a fallen world – saved not by our own discernments, but by the grace of God alone. However, Scripture does put a bridle on those of us itching to shout “Bring it on!” – we must ask ourselves “Is this fight of God or is this a contest I desire because I want to be entertained?” (See 1 Tim. 6:3-5 and Titus 3:9-11). Of course, we can never actually know the certain answer to this question (that’s for our progeny to figure out), but there are times, when the light is just right, when our reflection looks back from the mirror and cries out “You have no clothes!”
That seems to strike the balance pretty well. We're called to practice patience and kindness, but we are in a battle after all.


Blogger Larry said...

Interesting post. More than likely all of us at one time or another have made the mistake of saying "bring it on!"

My one and only foray into this dangerous territory left me dazed, bloody, and flat on my back. I have decided to let the Lord make the determination when to "bring it on", and hope by His grace I can bear the load.

3:25 PM, April 11, 2005  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

Good point, L.V. I've had pretty much the same experience when I got too cocky.

3:32 PM, April 11, 2005  
Blogger Larry said...

In answer to your question on my site: Yes; it would be a privilege to be added to the Church of Christ aggregator.

4:15 PM, April 11, 2005  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...


6:40 PM, May 10, 2007  

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