“So often i find myself wrestling my faith. I feel on the fringes of Christianity. I don’t think Abortion is an open-shut case, I feel like Homosexuality is no more grave than any of my own sins. I don’t care is the rapture is pre or post-tribulation. I don’t care to believe that my all loving God would condemn billions of people to Hell for simply believing in a God with a different name. I refuse to judge others and teach a turn or burn theology.. I question the need for anything besides a core doctrine of Jesus and love.
I call myself a Christ follower, but yet when i look around at others who identify the same, I often ask myself.. Is this what I am? Do I belong to this collective?”
I was on a message board the other night and this statement was posted. My immediate reaction was to respond with a long polemical post. After spending over 3 hours trying to wordsmith my thought vomit, I decided that I would do more harm than good to respond to this post. I have come to dread this kind of thinking, and my intention, even here, is to correct this in Christian love. I will be working from the end of this statement towards the beginning, hopefully you’ll understand why by the end of this. This is the first post of several on this, I hope you will stay with me to the end.
I have a very high view of God and who He is. For me, who God is has to be the first lens that I look at something through. Who man is, who Christ is, what sin is, end times, all are secondary lenses not the primary lens. My source documents for my view come from the Bible, not my experiences, not my feelings of who I think God ought to be. I believe that the Bible is the word of God, divinely inspired then transcribed by men. Therefore, it is inerrant, without error – it doesn’t contradict itself, and infallible, it is trustworthy and sure – the truths within it cannot change, they are true, always. It is my contention then that the entire Bible is important in discovering who God is.
As Christians, it is wrong to place our emphasis on living our lives out of only the New Testament, the Christian parts. It is even more wrong-headed to only trust the “red words” because those are the words of Christ. We Christians are “Gentiles,” not Jews. So it is true that we are not saved through adherence to the Law, but by grace. However, in order to understand that grace, it is important to know where God is coming from. God reveals himself fully in the Old Testament.
God created the earth and all that is in it. Why, is another post for another day. God created man and woman and the only restriction he placed on them was not to eat from 2 trees, the tree of life, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. We couldn’t follow this simple request. We are still committing the sin that Adam and Eve did in the Garden. That sin is thinking we can be like God, we can do this on our own terms, in our own way. There are several instances, almost a constant drum beat, in the Old Testament where God calls Israel “a stiff-necked people.” We refuse to submit our will, to the will of God. We refuse to lower our heads in submission to our Creator, instead we shake our fists at him and demand he submit himself to us.
As for having anything other than a core doctrine of Jesus and love, Jesus spent a great deal of his ministry confronting the scribes and Pharisees. His doctrine was the whole word of God. His love was pretty much a tough love. Using his knowledge of the Scriptures he refuted the Pharisees and teachers of the law again and again. Judging isn’t a bad thing. Being a Pharisee or a fundamentalist and holding others to an extra-biblical standard is a bad thing. Correcting a believer on their sin in private, in order to bring them back into the Christian walk isn’t a bad thing, see Matthew 18:15-17. Being on the receiving end of said correction isn’t sunshine and lollipops, but knowing it is done by someone who cares about your spiritual welfare should ultimately feel like love.
Maybe before we demand so much from God, we should read the instruction manual and see what is required of us.
Join me next time when will all go to Hell, maybe even in a handbasket. Afterall, the way there is paved with good intentions.