There are people of all Christian faiths, whether Presbyterian, Baptist, Episcopalian, Seventh Day Adventist, African Methodist Episcopalian (AME), Christian Church (disciples of Christ), Pentecostal, Catholic, United Church Of ChristNazarene, Church Of. God, Assemblies Of God, Church Of God In Christ, Moravian, Church Of Christ, Lutheran and denominations of every ethnicity….we all have our deal. This certainly is not a complete list by any means. Oh yah…and they all have their own Christian denominational dialect.
We’re expected to sort through eternal security, speaking ex cathedra, entire sanctification, 5 point Calvinism, 5 Solae, no instruments in worship, sacraments, eucharist, infant baptism versus immersion of believers, ordinance, pre or post millennials, speaking in tongues, gifts of the Spirit, purgatory, consubstantiation, transubstantiation, the unforgivable sin, does baptism save you, elders or deacons, episcopal, connexional, Presbyterian or congregational polity, Sabbath observance…and that’s just for starters.
Main streamers have a tooth for the tabernacle and the awe of God. Evangelicals tee-off on the temple and the teachings of Jesus while Pentecostals key on the experiential. The trouble is that each one dismisses the other. There are many congregations of wide diversity…but way more that stay with the people who make them comfortable.
Here’s the deal, you’ve got theologians on all sides of every issue, Bible answer men, a plethora of interpretation with most referencing what the Bible says or how it doesn’t really mean what it says. Just a whole buncha differing views. The funny thing is, not many of these debates center around orphans, widows, the poor and concern for the powerless.
I enjoy having people challenge my thinking, it’s a healthy process, and so needed. I don’t know if you’re like me, but I can sit down and listen to a guy who is really brilliant and convincing, and then sit down with another guy who comes from a sharply different perspective and is equally convincing… Well, that gives me pause. Then…when you think that those two intelligent men I just referenced were Calvin and Luther, both lawyers, it really REALLY gives me pause.
I speak for me only when I say, I haven’t done a very good job of being the God of my life. I have to have some sort of standard by which I set my course in life. That is for me, the Bible as I understand it. I study, I think, but I’m not that smart, but even so, the ability to retain information is not wisdom. Those are two different things.
I can’t run my life on other people’s personal feelings or in culture that shifts. I believe there are eternal truths.
Ultimately, I’m thinkin’ that if God has any questions of me, they won’t be the aforementioned theological issues I stated earlier.
But what do I know? 😮