If a second count is not the same as the first count, then a third count is called for. The silliest thing is to fear the second count so much it is deemed unnecessary. What is the fear? Waste of time? Truth knows no time. If I cannot look at my beliefs from an unbiased view, and judge them all the way to the details, then I should not hold that belief in the first place. All that is true bears true under the closest scrutiny. It is never good enough to say I counted that to be true one time. Some truths are unchanging, and will be quite comforting to rediscover. Many truths, however, do indeed change. Christians aught to be the first to loathe clinging to a truth that is out of date, so that the timeless ones may lose no shine. And we should know the difference.
If we fear truth, then we fear those who don't want truth. We value association with lovers of tradition, more than lovers of truth. Lovers of tradition love to have traditional times of patting each other on the back, and the reasons for back-patting get sillier and sillier. Truth may, or may not, be applauded by men. The applause itself is hardly worth pursuing or ignoring truth over. The pitter-patter of applause is only so many raindrops, soon to evaporate. Truth is an ocean, constantly supplied. Don’t get me wrong. Applause is not the problem. Valuing applause over truth is a big problem. Show me a man who has rejected applause, and I will find in him a teacher. His generation may reject him, but the values he holds will last well beyond his generation.
Often the disagreements between two sides are like two men standing on top of a mountain, looking out over opposite sides. The one simply says "7", and the other argues "5", but neither asks whether both may be right, and perhaps there are really 12 total houses in view. Or maybe one man is counting houses, while the other is counting cars. Both are so desperate to be in the right that neither bothered to establish what they were counting.
So they count again, but neither are really counting, are they? They enumerate the evidence, but fail to account for their limited point of view. Those with the wisdom to discuss what the discussion is about are few and far between. After all, tradition demands a count of 7. All friends would forsake the man who changed the 7 count. No one bothers asking whether the first person who counted 7 intended to create a canon of his count. Perhaps he was just looking at part of the picture (because that is all that any of us can really do), and making a theory, a conjecture, about how that particular part could be measured.
*Written December, 2015. Application is broad, and not intended to target any specific issue.