Several years ago a buddy and I hopped in my Ford van and headed to Yosemite for some winter camping. We hit all the backroads we could find, but faithfully followed the map. Until we got lost. The map just didn’t match the territory; it couldn’t get us to our goal. Running on fumes from the detours, the van crept into the aptly named Dinkey Creek, the last gas station for a dozen miles, just as the operator was closing it down for the winter. An hour later and we’d been hiking in snow.

            This week, a Facebook friend sparked a challenging discussion when she posted an article “Sick of Christianity?” The author seemed to want to rewrite the Bible and condemn judgmentalism in the church in order to justify continuing in the gay lifestyle. Now, this isn’t really about the gay lifestyle, but a deeper issue. One post by Roland Peachie showed a keen insight, “He’s just a sinner without remorse…who wants acceptance (and) is not looking for a way into heaven.”

            What’s the connection between the opening story and Roland’s comment? We each need to decide—do we want to justify behavior we don’t want to change, or do we desire to develop intimacy with God? The two cannot coexist. If we go with the first, then let’s be honest and acknowledge that we make our own roadmap, and not try to redefine the existing roadmap and say we’re still on it. We’re not. We’ve chosen to go against what God has said, and obedience is an essential part of walking with Jesus.

            Please don’t think I’m preaching perfectionism. We all sin, every one of us. But some call it sin and we respond with remorse. Others deny that it’s sin and show no remorse.

            Also, this issue of obedience only applies to those who have committed themselves to Jesus.

            If we go with the second, then let’s use the map as drawn by the mapmaker. He knows the territory, and won’t get us lost and burn up all our gas. This option realizes that some routes are dead ends. If our goal is God, these just get us to Dinkey Creek, and we’re without a paddle.

 Kick Starting the Discussion 

             What is your desired destination spiritually? What’s your roadmap to get there? What caused you to choose the one you did? Was it the concept of absolute truth, or subjective truth? If you chose God’s word as your roadmap, how often do you check your route with the map? How can you better learn to read the map?