This Is NOT Just My Opinion

It's the inescapable trump card of any argument, particularly a religious one. On the one hand you have someone who feels that they are very right in their position and is "winning the argument," while on the other hand is another who thinks they are just as right as the other, but realizes the is argument is lost... So to save face, they blurt out, "That's just your opinion." Sometimes, we don't even think we've lost the argument since none was had; but we just don't think the issue is very important, so we play the card anyway. We dismiss the argument’s relevance with a quiet sniff, "That's just your opinion."

You and I live in a world where there are facts and opinions, and we've made it so difficult for something to qualify as "fact" that virtually everything is opinion these days. There's at least someone to whom I could say, "The grass is green, the sky is blue, and there's a lot of traffic in Atlanta," and they'd tell me that was my opinion.

Whenever I'm trying to get someone to see the truth of God's Word, I get the "that's just your opinion" phrase a lot. Trouble is, this isn't my opinion, at least not all of it. Let me explain.

In my opinion, an opinion is something that carries no obligation. If I have an opinion about something, and that opinion does not please me, I can easily change it. If my opinion is that cheesecake is the greatest dessert, but then my opinion changes, I'm not going to lose sleep at night. More or less, I have full control over my opinions and think nothing of changing them at the drop of a hat. Facts, on the other hand, are beyond my pay grade to change or alter. If the sky is blue and the grass is green, I can't do anything about the two.

On some issues of Scripture, I wish people would be kinder when they trumped my point with "that's just your opinion." Because "opinion" insinuates that I LIKE holding this view. And who in their right mind would enjoy the "opinion" that the lost are doomed to an eternal hell? Who would enjoy the "opinion" that the rebellious and disobedient would spend eternity apart from their Creator? The list could go on and on.

Maybe we need to create a third category and call it "opacts." Whatever we call it, I wish more people would recognize that there exists a subtle middle ground where opinions and facts violently collide. I feel compelled and constrained by Scripture to profess whatever it tells me to profess and reject what I'm commanded to reject. I don't always like it that way, but such is the obligation of anyone who confesses Jesus to be Lord. This in no way makes God out to be a capricious deity, but rather reflects my failure to see things perfectly from God's perspective.

Maybe we need a third category so that we can respect someone who feels strongly that their beliefs aren't just "opinions," but rather the mandates of conscience and conviction. Maybe instead of snarkily saying, "That's just your opinion," we should seek to understand why someone believes what they believe so firmly.

“Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God… For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin” (Rom. 14:10, 23).

Sometimes there is a fine line between stubbornness and faithfulness, and it's the desire always to be right vs. always to glorify God.

And that's not just my opinion.

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