Pastor’s Viewpoints, “Confrontation”

The Rev. Lou Tiscione, Pastor, Weatherford Presbyterian Church (PCA)

Over the years, I’ve met some people who thrive on confrontation. Normally, most of us would rather avoid confrontation. Confrontation challenges us. It may cause great distress. We might even find ourselves being manipulated by the one confronting us. Regardless, whether you thrive on confrontation or try to avoid it, it is part of living in this world.

You may not have thought of the beginning of the Bible in terms of confrontation. But, “In the beginning God…” represents the greatest confrontation of our lives. I’m not using exaggeration. These first words of Scripture turned my world upside down. They reveal the truth or, if you prefer, reality. Reality is unavoidable. Reality is not what you make it or believe it to be. Reality (truth) is absolute.

Genesis 1:1 declares that there was a time nothing existed except God; therefore, we are confronted with the reality that God made everything out of nothing! He spoke and by the word of His command heaven and earth were created. This God changed me. He made me a new creation. His words told me that I had no right to claim the throne of my life, to think that I was “in charge.” Neither I nor you are the center of life. God is!

As God’s new creation, He gave me new desires, specifically a new desire, a profound and deep desire for Him. The Great “I Am” is the only self-existent being from Whom all things exist. I am because He is. We know Him in Jesus who said, “Let Me tell you how to say Yahweh, “I Am”, in Greek (I’m paraphrasing). It is Jesus.” (read the “I Am” sayings in John’s Gospel).

The confrontation came when I realized that He alone had the right to claim ownership of me and sovereign control of my life. There was no other reasonable response that a creature (me) could make to the Creator. Since all existence proceeds from Him, “In Him we live and move and have our being”, Acts 17:28. The claim of an absolute self-determination is unachievable, beyond any man’s ability.

Let me re-phrase God’s revealed truth. Before there was anything there was God. He chose a time to make everything out of nothing. Opposed to this is the view of eternal matter. A renowned philosopher of the 21st Century said, “The cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be.” His point was that the Universe is eternal. Acceptance of this view requires a blind leap of faith into the dark rather than a step into the light.

King David said it best, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims His handiwork.” Psalm 19:1. Creation had a beginning and will have an end in re-creation, Revelation 21. The biblical world view is centered in the only Eternal One who is the Triune God! He confronts all of us with this reality.

In light of God’s confrontation of Man’s desire for an autonomous control over his life, the question must be asked. “How do you or have you responded to the reality that you’re not in control?”

The critic might say that this view of reality is demeaning and renders men and women to be pawns. But just the opposite is true. Understanding that you’re not God and He is brings you to the profound realization that He has condescended to reach down and bless man above all creatures. David wrote in Psalm 8:5 about man, “You have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.” This supremely points to Jesus Christ but is significant for the entire human race.

You are free to ignore this reality but not without consequences. “We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.” 2Corinthians 5:10

I pray that you meet God’s confrontation head-on. May the realization that we are creatures made by a God who is holy, sovereign and just cause you to see that you are accountable to Him. He requires perfection. Our only hope is to trust in the Son of God, the God-Man Jesus Christ. He lived a perfect life and He offered the only perfect sacrifice for sins. Jesus said His followers know the truth and are set free, CF: John 8:31-32.