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Canadian Thistle, Wild Yarrow And Theology
Last year, I had to battle the problem of Canadian Thistle invading my gardens. I relentlessly sprayed every sign of this pest until it was virtually eradicated from my yard. But this year, a new menace has emerged; Wild Yarrow.
As with everything, I see a theological or philosophical connection. My garden is like the Church -- a well cultivated and structured organism. Whereas the weeds, be it thistle or yarrow are the heretical influences creeping in and trying to take over. I have effectively held-fast against the scourge of the thistle, but once it was dealt with didn't mean I could let my guard down. Yarrow is almost worse than thistle because yarrow has long carrot-like roots and lacy leaves that are more difficult to treat with a broad-leaf herbicide.
Last years thistle could be pulled out without much disturbance to the surrounding flowers. This year's yarrow has intertwined itself making it more difficult to remove without damaging the garden. It appears the course of action to defeat the yarrow will require that I repeatedly cut the tops off until it finally dies. This will be a very tedious task. Without this, dare I say; "obsessive" dedication toward defeating the yarrow, my garden will be overrun.
This reminds me of the Bible passage in Matthew 13:24-30 where Jesus speaks of "tares and wheat" and allowing them to grow together so as not to endanger uprooting the wheat. Eventually, at harvest the tares will be gathered and burnt.
Well, my gardens aren't grains but rather flowers which will not be harvested. This reminds me more of the "Postmillennial" view of Christianity, where the kingdom continues to advance and overtake evil on earth. Postmillennialism's premise is based on Jesus' many descriptions of the kingdom as ever advancing and overtaking (some proof-texts).
However, to my discouragement I have had to deal with folks who either compromise with the "weeds" by calling them "flowers" or by even cultivating the "weeds" as flowers. And when I try to maintain the battle against the encroachment of these weeds -- some so-called Christians have even berated me as being "obsessive" or "mean-spirited". Could you imagine my next door neighbor seeing me out in my garden, removing the weeds and telling me I'm "obsessive" or "mean-spirited"? Could you imagine them yelling over the fence, "Leave those plants alone!!!" and perhaps even coaxing surrounding neighbors to berate and hassle me? This is exactly the kind of experience a person will often encounter today if they take a stand -- be it against "weedy" doctrine or "weedy" politics. We will be shouted down and made to look as if we are "obsessive", "mean-spirited" individuals. However, though we know the end of the story we still are commanded to call evil evil and good good (Is 5:20) no matter how many people seek to compromise. So, keep weeding but gently. Certainly Christ never meant his parable to be understood that we shouldn't oppose evil and oppose bad doctrine.
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