I amazes me how easily we can forget what really is, and replace it with what we think (or wish) it were. As a child I remember looking with growing terror at the boogie-man standing in the corner of my room watching me, I knew it was just a coat hanging from the wall but eventually I had to go turn on the lights to see what it was.
I think the same is true with some Christians and their theology, yet because we are grown-folk we refuse to turn on the lights. There is also another scenario with us adults: sometimes we create the scary image in the corner, because we know if we can get others scared, they will forget what is really there (biblical truth) and in presence of fear we can wield power over people and institutions. I know of “friends” who are very concerned about the theological drift of a local Christian college. Many of them are good, well-intentioned people. However I also believe some of them are seeking power and justification more than the will of our Savior and King. I do not hurl this comment as a slanderous accusation, but as an observation I feel is well documented and demonstrated.
Let me also say why I care about this issue. I have many friends there and I have had great respect for this college. I believe this institution can still do great things for the kingdom. But the issue is much larger than this one school, it is the very way us evangelicals fight and divide over petty issues and do exactly what Jesus warned about in Matthew 23:
“… you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.
One example of replacing what “IS” with what “I THINK IS” is the elevation of “doctrine” over unity. This is part of a protestant belief that “doctrinal purity” is more important than “Christian Unity” One such friend spoke of how the path to destruction comes to an institution “…by watering down its strong doctrinal convictions.” Another wrote disparagingly in a blog as to how some elevate “unity” over doctrinal purity. I wonder if that was a concern for Jesus? If it was, I wonder why he did not pray in Jn 17, “Father, I pray that you will give them all doctrinal purity.” ?
LET ME SAY CLEARLY – I believe there are biblical standards of truth that cannot be compromised. However, I believe too many times we try to include all our doctrinal preferences into the category of “biblical” and use our preferences as the rule for true faith. – and the result is…… ?
I want us to probe this issue, and in my next few posts I want us to consider how Jesus and the apostle Paul supported and even encouraged doctrinal diversity for the sake of unity and the work of the kingdom. Lets try to look at what “IS” and turn on some lights – so we can chase away the boogie-man.
Perhaps post-modernism is not the enemy?