June 2, 2006

Sometimes I Just Don't Get It

Let me start by admitting that I am Wesleyan/Arminian. I believe that God, being sovereign, gives grace to human beings allowing them to either choose or reject Him. I believe that a person cannot "lose" their salvation, but through neglect and rejection can turn from God and receive the consequences. I don't, however, think that every little slip up should send the person running to the altar for fear of hell.

I believe that being a Christian means more than just saying a sinners prayer it means being a disciple or an apprentice of Jesus. I think that loving your neighbor should be lived out in practical ways. I think judgment is more than just sending a person to hell. I think all people will be judged and found wanting--those who have trusted in Christ and pursued Him will be covered by God's grace.

I think heaven is better than we can ever imagine, and I think that hell is somehow worse thanthe fire we often imagine. I don't think it is torture. I think God is loving, merciful, and just; because of that, I think He will be fair in the end. I think the end of the world as we know it is a mystery despite the number of people who think they have it all figured out.

I am involved in the emerging church "conversation" (and I seem to fall within it more than with out).

Having said all of that...

I do not think that people NOT like me in doctrine have no place in the Christian faith. The Creed is my basis for what I see as essential to the faith. There some doctrinal stances that I just can't believe personally. I understand, though, how my picture of the faith may leave some people questioning. But the standard is the Creed. I guess I have one more standard-the living out of the faith in ways that expand the Kingdom of God. I think that bad theology leads to bad practice. Orthodoxy is not orthodoxy if it isn't also orthopraxy.

Now for the point of this post because it certainly isn't about my beliefs. This afternoon I spent time with a friend from seminary. He proceeded to tell me how jaded he had become about helping those in need because of those who would take advantage of the church. I told him about Servant Evangelism, and he said, "Show me someone who has been changed by that stuff!" Despite my best attempts, I knew there was no convincing him. He then proceeded to also talk about those of a different doctrinal stance.

I know these people are out there, but I just don't get it. Christians who are supposed to be guided by love guided by something else. It is like people want to give out passes to determine who should be in and who should be out. I agree that faith in Jesus Christ is necessary, but I don't think doctrinal perfection is necessary. If doctrinal perfection is necessary, then I am in trouble and so is most everybody I have ever met.

1 comment:

  1. Show me someone who has been changed by that stuff!"

    Yikes! I know this is an old post but I had to comment.

    Hasn't all of humanity been changed by the servant evangelism practiced by Jesus? The foundation of our faith has to be that Jesus came and met us at our need (for salvation).

    Show me someone who was converted in a systematic theology class and I might change my mind.