The picture below is not a real diamond. It’s a rose-colored crystal in the shape of a cut gemstone. I borrowed it from a co-worker’s office to illustrate several observations about a diamond and its facets.
First, a diamond in the rough is not a thing of beauty. Only when it is cut into many flat surfaces called facets is the true beauty of a diamond revealed.
Second, a diamond cannot reveal its full brilliance if it is ground to the shape of a sphere, with a single smooth surface. It requires many flat surfaces, many facets, to reveal a diamond’s full radiance.
But, here is a paradox. A facet is a 2-dimensional shape. A diamond is a 3-dimensional object. Facets have breadth and width, but no depth. The diamond exists on an entirely different dimensional plane—it possesses depth. How can a 2-dimensional shape express and reveal the full glory of a 3-dimensional diamond? The difference between the two is an eternity.
The answer, of course, is that many two-dimensional facets, some revealing the opposite point of view, can reveal the three-dimensional object.
Christ is the diamond and we are the facets. He is infinite, we are finite. God has ordained that no single individual reveals the truth and glory of His Son. Just as only the many, small, facets can tell the whole story of the diamond, so it takes many, many believers of all ages to reveal the full story of God’s Son. No one denomination can reveal all that there is of Christ. One single believer or one denomination claiming to possess the whole of divine truth is like a single facet claiming to reveal the whole of the diamond. The Scripture declares that “the Church (of all ages) is the fullness of Christ who fills all in all” (Ephesians 1:21).
Christ is the Real Deal
Finally, facets cover all sides of the diamond. They all express an accurate, but limited portion of the diamond’s glory—even though they may be on opposite sides of the gem. Even so, many so-called conflicting doctrines may actually be different facets of the same truth, each facet expressing different attributes of the same Jesus Christ.
No Christian or denomination has a monopoly on divine truth. Our own limitations in the face of Christ’s infinity ensure this. There is simply too much of Christ and too little of us that we should claim to have “the correct position,” to the exclusion of all other points of view. “The fear of the LORD (recognition of God’s greatness and our own limitations) is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 1:7).
O Lord, I can no more fit the whole of biblical knowledge nor the fullness of God into my brain than I can fit the ocean into a thimble. Help me to appreciate the views and experiences of others. Help me to see that Your church is bigger than I ever dreamed. Amen.