I have a confession to make. My name is Jim, and I am an ultracrepidarian. There, I said it. However, I am not the only one. Social media is jam packed with ultracrepidarians. The cable news channels are too. Many bloggers and vloggers are as well, though they would not go as far as I and confess it to the whole world. Now, more than ever, your chances of encountering one of us are greater than ever. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
What is an ultracrepidarian? When is one guilty of ultracrepidarianism? Merriam Webster defines ultracrepidarianism as “the habit of giving advice or opinions outside of one’s knowledge or competence.” Therefore, if you have ever given your two cents worth on any given subject about which you know little or nothing, you, my friend, are an ultracrepidarian! (I can hear some of you saying, “Yep! I knew Wicker was one of those all along. I just didn’t know what to call him—well, except for those expletives.”)
However, I am not a total ultracrepidarian in that God has blessed me with 56 years of life experience so far. I have lived in three different states. From the “For What It’s Worth” department, I have degrees in political science, theology, and organizational leadership. I wouldn’t say I’m an expert in anything necessarily, but I know a little about a lot of things. In fact, I know just enough that I may be able to come in third of three contestants on Jeopardy. That is, if I am ever able to pass the qualifying test.
It remains to be seen how this blog will turn out or how often I will turn one out. The subtitle is Observations and Opinions about Life and Faith. I have plenty of observations about these things as I believe that faith and life are intertwined—at least in my experience. (I know many people who have the same feeling about life.) I have spent 30+ years as a pastor, during which time I gave hundreds of observations and opinions about scripture—i.e., sermons, Bible studies, and the like. Even so, I am aware that, by no means, do I know everything about God, Jesus, faith and the Bible. Quite the contrary, we fool ourselves if we think that faith, creation, and God’s revelations are static and once-and-for-all. Creation, as well as the means by which God is revealed, is a lifelong—eternity-long—process that we humans cannot nail down nor do I believe we were meant to. If we have/had it all figured out, there would be no need for God.
So, beloved friend, I offer what wisdom and insight I am able. You and I will not agree on everything, maybe not even on many things. We are, each and every one of us, uniquely created and beloved by God. As I look around at all of us ultracrepidarians, it seems we have forgotten this, especially in this country. The divisions between whatever us vs. them we humans have created have gotten completely out of control. These delineations are not of God. Paul wrote in Galatians 3: “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” And Jesus prayed in John 17 that we be one–unified, and inseparable.
We, every single one of us, are one. The glue that holds us together is Jesus Christ! No matter the parameters we define or whom we leave out, Christ usurps all of the junk and holds us all together as God’s beloved. My question is: When we will start living this truth empowered by the love and freedom of Jesus Christ?
“Who is wise and understanding among you? Show by your good life that your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace.” (James 3:13, 17-18)
Bless you today and every day!