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Friday, December 12, 2014

One Size Fits All

Experience and/or common sense has taught most of us to be wary of purchasing garments that make the "one size fits all" claim. We understand that there is so much variability relative to the height, width and weight of individuals that such a claim is rendered almost impossible. As a consequence, most of us go to the clothing store with our sizes/dimensions in hand to avoid ending up with clothing that does not fit. Many of us even take the added precaution of trying on the clothing before we purchase it (realizing that there is some variability extant among the way that the manufacturers of our clothing size their garments).

However, when it comes to the subject of religious beliefs, many of us seem to be much more amenable to the claim that "one size fits all." Moreover, among the religious folks of the world, Christians appear to be especially susceptible to this phenomenon. Take a moment to consider just a few of the groups that claim to be THE ONE size that is right for everyone on this planet: Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Latter Day Saints, Jehovah's Witnesses, Church of Christ, Seventh-Day Adventists and most of the descendants of the now defunct Worldwide Church of God (which this writer belonged to at one time).

For those of us who used to be affiliated with one of the groups who have made such a claim, we have tended to look back at them from the perspective of their exclusion of outsiders (which I'm not dismissing as unimportant). However, each and every one of those groups looks at themselves as THE ANSWER, or at least being in possession of THE ANSWER. In other words, they claim to have the ability to accommodate the spiritual needs of everyone on this planet (that is, everyone who wants to be saved). And, when we look at it from their own perspective, it is then that it becomes crystal clear just how absurd such a claim really is! Aren't they really saying that you have to squeeze you into the garment that we've made for everyone (you have to conform to our garment)?

If one size was truly meant to fit all, then why has God created or allowed (depending on your perspective) so much variability in the world? Think about it. If we were to exclude every other consideration and only focus on the different ways that people learn/assimilate/process information, we could easily be overwhelmed by the complexity of the subject before us. Nevertheless, we all understand that this isn't the only factor we would have to consider in evaluating this question of the greater variability. We must also take into account the variability that exists in the realms of ideas, philosophies, psychology, science in general, historical experience, morality, writings/Scriptures, etc. (In short, it makes the variability that exists within height, width and weight seem insignificant by comparison).

One size fits all? It doesn't make sense to me. What do you think?

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