Monday, May 16, 2011

5 1/2 Barriers to Truth

Over the past few months, probably since Rob Bell's new book came out, I have been reading about what people believe, and don't believe about Christianity. In fact there is a lot blogarrhea about what part of the Bible is or isn't correct, authentic, or infallible yakity yak. I just shake my head at the myriad of opinions. It's like everyone is a religious pundit! Maybe you think I am one as well.

The real questions are these: Is the Bible true, all of it? If not, which part is not true? Is there more than one interpretation for a given passage? Who has the correct theology?

Certainly there are many more questions to be asked, but you see where I am going. How can we get out of this mess and become "true" disciples of Christ? It is not easy or it would have been done, and there would be no denominations. Is the splintering of the church and variety of thought OK with God? I don't think so. That is why we need Jesus!

It is not enough to be a Jesus follower - I know so popular, yet so shallow. We are meant to become disciples teaching ALL the things that Jesus taught as well as doing what Jesus did - and greater things than he did!

For those of you that are parents, is it okay with you when your child does specifically what you've told them not to? I don't think so. Is it okay with you when your child believes something that is damaging to their life? I don't think so. God is our Father, he feels that way too.

There is only one theology, and some have it more right than others!

If we look back in the Bible, we see that there were city churches which were comprised of many home churches. Everyone's basic beliefs were pretty much the same, although culture and local law were a battle everywhere. The Epistles of Paul were letters to those churches; it was the broadcast teaching of the day. Yes there were divisions, but that didn't mean that both were right! Paul told the church to be patient with those that oppose them, and do not argue with words. Other times he said to rebuke them.

There is only one true theology, and you don't have it!

This morning I scanned Paul's letters to Timothy. I find it amazing the warnings he gives Timothy [us] about false teachings and it seems as if most of the bloggers have overlooked them.

Here are 5 reasons why you may never know the "truth" and have God's perfect theology:

-1 Tradition: Let's face it, churches like tradition. They can build one on just about any verse, and then dress it up with some religious looking acts and words or turn it into a program.

-2 Religion: This is simply a belief system that may, or may not be connected to the living God. It's like Charismatics raising their hands during worship, Pentecostals wearing suits and ties to church, or the Pope wearing his pope-ly garb on the balcony at St. Peters. It is either God, or it is not. If it is not, then it is just religion.

-3 Laziness: Are you eating someone else's food, or are you getting your own? It is so easy to read a book or a blog, and never read the passages in context. This is where the greatest possibility for errors arises - building faith on non-biblical sources like psychology, scientific theory, logic, and good ideas. The context of biblical passages is important. My blogmate, Charlie said "sex feels good." And he is correct. It just needs to be in the context of marriage.

-4 Lack of Experience: We spend so much time talking about faith, that we can end of worshiping faith like an idol. Jesus promised us that he would heal through us, give us the ability to cast out demons, and raise the dead. Some of us believe that is true, but for some reason it only seems to happen in 3rd world countries, and "those" churches. Get over yourself, and get out there and experience God, you never know, maybe you are a prisoner of religion and didn't even know it.

-5 Narrow-mindedness: I think these folks were called stiffed necked in the Bible. This is the one that allows you to tie up all of the above in  nice neat little package, and say, "I don't need ________ from them!" "They are in error!" "So and so is of bad character." and the list goes on and on. It is easy to distance ourselves from things we don't understand. You can learn from people in error. If you are not comfortable with your own faith, you will stuff it all in a box that fits your little god.

-5 1/2 Unbelief...

Do we embrace every wind of doctrine? NO! Like Timothy and Paul, we are not threatened by it, and we do not fear it; we address it as needed. Do I think everyone is going to heaven because Rob Bell says so? NO! Has Rob Bell ever taught anything of value? YES! Would I go to his church every Sunday? Only if God told me to. I mean he sent me to a Southern Baptist Church for a few years. I assure you, I am NO Baptist! Interestingly they completely denied the gifts of the Spirit, and my faith and use of them grew even greater.

How about you, are you secure in your belief system? Tell us why.


Arny said...

Like You said in number 3...

We have to read our bibles....and we are not....we crack it open on sunday morning and think...ah....i read my bible this week...NO!

We need to know where we came from....learning from the life of the Hero's of Faith that our mentioned in Hebrews 11...

We need to not have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof.....

Andrea (on-dray-ah) York said...

It's not enough to be a Jesus follower - so true. Gal 2:20, I have been crucified with Christ and no longer live but CHRIST LIVES IN ME.

If Christ is actually doing the living in our lives, the Christian life is easy and FULL of miraculous signs and wonders.

Great post; I particularly love the sentiments regarding Rob Bell - can't throw the baby out with the bath water. There is a responsibility for the hearer to test the word. In prophetic ministry school, we are told most often - use the flush. My husband calls me the return queen because I'll buy something first and then decide to keep it, or not. Too many people haven't done that in their "spiritual" closet.

David-FireAndGrace said...

@Arny - I love the book of Hebrews! And yes, without power we are just another philosophy.

@Andrea - Wow, great analogy! We do need to clean up our belief closet. I may us that for a blog! Well, if it s OK with you.

Charlie Chang said...

Don't forget we can be jerks online too. I'm guilty of that. I'm the chief of jerks!

Tonjia said...

Humor me while I add my yakity yak, please. (Thank you).

If we approach the reading of the Bible as a little child, with a pure heart, seeking truth, the very first thing we understand is that it cannot all be true. Jesus himself confirmed this vision, saying, "you have heard it read, from the torah of Moses, an eye for an eye, and love your freinds and hate your enemies...BUT I am telling you this is not the law of god. God's law is that you revenge not evil. Love your enemies as you love your friends."

Jesus fulfilled the commandment of Moses who said "I have given you this day life and death...choose life."

Jesus chose the words of LIFE from the words of Moses just as Moses commanded, and he rejected the words of death, just as Moses commanded. Thus, he fulfilled the law, as it is written, by NOT believing everything that is written, for to do that is to make goodness evil and evil goodness, for which cause the nations of Israel and Judah were destroyed.

And for which cause the Christian church has lost its way.

much love tonjia

Charlie's Church of Christ said...

I've been thinking a lot lately about how we build idols not on really sexy stuff but religious stuff, so it was good to see I'm not the only one noticing that. Oh and for the record 4 years I considered moving to Michigan to be apart of Rob's church. I didn't, but it is a powerful

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