I have always considered the issue of one Theology to be pretty important on matters of faith and life. How we understand God dramatically shapes how we live, what we believe, and how everything shakes out in the end. But with the vast diversity on theological positions, the question has to be asked, “Who’s right?”
It’s a loaded question, I know. But consider all that’s at risk. The impact, not only on our souls, but the souls we minister to is huge! If what we believe about God is off, it could significantly alter our eternities, not to mention the eternities of a great many others.
Yesterday, I found myself in the middle of a wonderful discussion about sexual sin, as a result to the blog post, “Praises to Group Magazine.” More specifically, the discussion focused on homosexuality. As the conversation went on, it seemed to me that the issue was with our understanding of what was sin and what was not. I began to wonder, what holds a higher place of importance for us as a church, our tradition, our theology, the changing culture tolerances, or the written Word of God?
Theology is our study of who God is. However, that “theology” changes ever so slightly as you move from denomination to denomination. Within the church we often find ourselves divided by titles such as liberal, conservative, fundamental, and legalistic based on how our theology is shaped. The tradition of each camp helps to define and shape the theology it holds to. Some traditions go back hundreds of years and are steeped in writings of Godly men who wrestled over difficult spiritual matters. Many of the controversial issues we deal with today are reminiscent of issues debated by the early church fathers. Out of those great debates have come the confessions and statements of faith that thousands of churches have laid their foundations on. For many years those confessions and statements, while endure challenges and opposition, have stood the test and proved themselves to be solid, Biblical positions.
Now, things are changing. Now the voice of opposition is speaking out. Now many of the denominations that have held to a higher standard on matters of faith and spirituality are lowering their expectations. Now the great traditions of old are being replaced with positions of tolerance and acceptance. And now, our very theology is finding itself at the center of another great debate.
All of this leads me to some difficult questions. Questions like;
1. How can the Church, claim to be one in unity and spirit, yet be so separated by doctrinal and theological positions?
2. Do the differences we find in our theological interruptions separate us more than we realize?
3. What is more important, OUR theology, or what is written in the Word of God?
4. And when do we begin considering that we might be wrong when it comes to issues that greatly divide the church today?
Consider the words Paul charges the young pastor Timothy with. 2 Timothy 4:1-4. 1. In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2. Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
Have we come to a point where the itching ears have turned away from truth? Have we as a church allowed our opinions, wants, and desires for “everyone to just get along” sway us away from the Biblical truths that we once stood soundly on? When will we return to scripture, read what the apostles wrote and say, “Okay. If that is God’s Word on the matter, then the matter is closed. Let’s live by God’s Word!”?
How about you? Do you ever struggle with the same questions? Do you war with theology, scripture and the contextual life of this day and time? Do you struggle to be loving and Biblically sound only to find yourself dodging darts of the opposition? Do you find yourself as the opposition? What are your thoughts? Don’t like what I’ve said, tell me why. Do you like what I said? Say so.
Share you comments below and be a part of the conversation!