Surprise! This is Hurting the Church Today

Chess piece

Instead of writing directly into issues that are currently on the surface, I have chosen to write about the great absence below it. 

First, it greatly troubles me to hear people — who are supposed to be Christians committed to the Bible — say foolish things like, “It doesn’t matter what you believe.” This is an incredibly dangerous statement, more so when coming from a self-described Christian source. Telling Christians to stop being theological and just “love people” is like telling a doctor not to use his medical knowledge and simply “care” for patients. It’s the doctor’s knowledge that leads to healing. Similarly, it’s the Christian’s knowledge of theology that leads to an explanation of the more complicated maters in life and faith. Without theology, a person might receive “care” and “love” and “acceptance” for about 80 years, but at what cost? Is it worth it eternally? By the way, many seem to have forgotten that theology is literally defined, “The study of God,” which is unmistakably why society is so obsessed with itself. Surprise! — the study of God is exactly what’s so absent from the majority of today’s conversations. Theology is meant to liberate us from ourselves and place our passion of knowledge and intimacy on God.

Also, it’s been suggested that theology and social responsibility are 2 separate issues. Since when does being theologically sound and socially responsible come at a trade? One or the other? From whom are we getting this impression? What sort of people do we associate with? If we’re theologically sound, we must be morally responsible. Sound theology demands it! To say that we can excuse ourselves from theological responsibility because we can’t possibly know what the apostle Paul meant on a certain issue, for example, is not only an erroneous statement, it’s a damning one. If we no longer have the luxury of understanding Paul, then how can we audaciously say that we can understand John, when he says, “God so loved the world that he gave is one and only Son”? You and I cannot pick and choose what texts we will accept. We must take it all — or leave it all. And in those rare occasions when our theological minds are challenged by the social climate, Peter says that we must obey God rather than men (or government) when it opposes what God teaches (Acts 5:29).

I implore you to align your social responsibility and theology in light of God’s Word. We may not be popular, but we weren’t called to be popular . . . we were called to be faithful. To affirm, or excuse, something that the Bible names as something blocking people from heaven is not only a dereliction of duty but it subverts the primary reason that we’re the Church — namely, to lead people to glorify God, in Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness sins — whatever they may be. We need to stop pointing at categories and start reaching deeply below the surface.

Blessings,

Joe

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