It will seem bizarre (and to me embarrassing) that I wrestled in college with whether I should date girls that wear earrings. But that was the religious culture from which I emerged. I didn't personally care and wanted to date them. But my conscience, determined as it always is by the culture in which we are raised, told me I shouldn't. Didn't 1 Peter 3:3 say so?
A family member told me not to worry about it. Things would take care of themselves. God would tell anyone who needed to be told about jewelry in his own time. And if a girl was the right sort of person, she would listen to whatever God told her. My objection was that I needed to be consistent.
Of course a year and a relationship later I found myself quite frustrated with the idea as ridiculous. An earring was little different than me wearing a tie. Reality prevailed over random and indefensible ideas for me, as I hope it has ever since.
You might have heard the saying, "Ideas have consequences." They certainly can, in the hands of an idealist or an idealogue. There are an awful lot of them around right now. They get people stirred up. They start revolutions. They create and become suicide bombers. The ideological chickens don't kill themselves but others around them.
Most of us prize the person who is consistent in his or her beliefs. We preach it as a virtue from our pulpits. The problem is that most systems of thought are flawed. When an ideologue begins to be consistent with flawed ideas, they can become quite dangerous. Think Nazi. Think Muslim extremist. Think terrorist.
A somewhat humorous example to me is the KJV only person backed into the corner. I've mentioned one progression before.
"You realize that the KJV you're using was revised several times."
"Fine, then I'll use the 1611 version."
"You realize the 1611 version was an Anglican compromise that had the Apocrypha. The Puritans used the Geneva Bible."
"Fine, so I'll use the Geneva Bible."
It is this "consistency" with an initially flawed idea or system that has some American evangelicals arguing that slavery wasn't so bad. Why? Because they are opposed to gay marriage and women in ministry.
So here's to inconsistency. Here's to all the so called thinkers out there who have one or two bizarre ideas that they do not play out in the rest of their lives. Here's to the warm-hearted folk whose heart doesn't let them be consistent with whatever theory they hold in one area that would become truly dangerous in another. Here's to all the dis-integrated teachers and professors who are teaching their area of expertise with distinction... and not letting the bizarre ideas they have in other areas infect the area they actually know about.