Since you began your right Twix vs left Twix campaign, this philosophical distinction has brought forth a serious question: what constitutes a Twix bar? Is it one candy bar made of two parts or two parts packaged together? If packaged for Halloween candy it is a single bar named Twix, but if it’s got two bars it is still Twix. This is a question with philosophical implications, so I come to the source! What is the real name of your candy bar and how should we refer to a single Twix candy bar? I humbly wait for your reply and will wait to rely on your expertise.
Skittles are plural. M and M’s are as well. Twix carries with it an immense amount of ambiguity. Is it one or two? (Or 4 in the case of King Size)? If each side of Twix is going to obtain an individual personality, where does that leave us? To sentient individuals or one scidzophrenic?
Where Resees seems to be uniting us (see the previous two posts); Twix seems content to drive a wedge in. Let’s just say that in some instances Jesus brought the duct tape, but in others he brought a pry bar.
One key concept in the book of John is division. John understands that sometimes discipleship is moved forward by people being added to the number, and other times it happens by others leaving.
John uses division as a iteray device. The whole purpose of Johns book is found in chapter 20:
Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. (30-31)
Johns gospel brings the reader to the crossroad where a decision needs to be made about “who Jesus is?” But throughout the book, people have been brought to the line of decision.
- John 6, Jesus teaches on the life that he alone can give and the people divide (6.60,66)
- The crowds and even his family don’t know what to do with his abscence at the festival. (7.12)
- Jesus teaches from God’s authority and above Moses’ in the Temple and the people are divided. (7.30-31)
- The Pharisees are up in arms and division I’ve how Jesus can heal blindness. The real issue is Jesus place of origin. (9.16ff.)
- Then the apex of the book, the antithesis of the thesis statement in chapter 12, “after Jesus has done all these miraculous signs in their presence, they still would not believe…”(John 12.37-42)
Like Col. Travis or Jean Luc Picard drawing a line in the sand, Jesus has clearly declared the two sides. But there is an interesting dynamic at work here.
When a line is drawn, battle, political, or ideological, the image at the forefront of your mind is often of two sides, yelling at each other while encroaching upon the line. They are two opposing forces bent over the line with bulging veins in their forheads and necks, screaming obscenities at one another. That is not the case here.
Certainly, the battle over the identity of Jesus is as real and vital as it had ever been. John’s excessive use of metaphor shows this. Life and death; light and dark; the city of God and the World. But it is not two sides attacking one another.
Instead, it is two lines that are not attacking each other but ignoring one another. It’s like everyone is standing with their backs to the line. The groups never really enter debate about Jesus’ identity, but instead ask searching questions. With each inquiry, individuals on either side of the line step backward over it, switching positions, or stepping forward strengthening their position and allegiance.
This “cross-the-line” mentality is paramount for Johns gospel because of his stance on culture. Of the New Testament authors, John’s position on how a follower of Christ should interact with the world around him is firmest and recessive. Jokingly it’s hard to figure out whether John turned his back on the world, “Do not love the world or anything in it…”(1 John 2.15), or the world turned its back on him, he was “…on the island of Patmos beacause of the word of God.” (Rev. 1.9) Johns attitude is withdrawal.
Paul takes a much softer position. “I have become all things…” (1 Cor. 9.22); using his political position (Acts 22.22-30; 25.11-12); and quoting the philosophers of the day (Acts 17.28) and referencing their gods (Acts 17.23). Paul utilizes culture in order to transform culture (Romans 12.1-2). But this study is for another time and place (and one that I hope warrants time and discussion here).
Johns division is between the followers of Christ and the world that surrounds them. John is certain that believers are to be seperate from the world in far not ways than where they spend 2 hours on Sunday morning.
It’s in the way we tallk; the content of of our conversations. Listened to two high school boys use the f-word 18 different times in 6 sentences and in four different parts of speech in 6 sentences, the other day. I didn’t know whether to get me a dictionary so I really knew what the word meant, or to get them a thesaurus so the could learn a new word.
It’s the way we parent and serve in schools. It bothers me that PTO is such poorly attended and how hard schools have too look when the numbers suggest how many Christian parents are connected to the school. It is disconcerting as to how many single parents lack support from the church in raising their kids. I struggle with how many parents feel like the are on an island in raising their kids. Christians are called to be different.
It is in the books that are kept. It’s the amazon accounts, credit card debt, Craigslist addiction, and Cabelas points. “Stuff” is a currency all by itself now a days. Followers of Christ, and their stuff, the amount, how it’s used, and how it is obtained, is one way that they are divided from the world.
Twix has it right, the followers need to be distinct from the world. We may be in the same package as the world, breathing the same oxygen, living in the same space, struggling with the same sins, but John knows we are not the same!
Ps. Still no reply from Mars or Hershey!