My how the world has its priorities all messed up? I’ve seen more outrage over a lion being killed on an African hunt over the last 24 hours then I would ever care to see. I’ve seen more outrage over the last several weeks regarding the confederate flag’s defense then I’ve ever thought possible in the twenty-first century. My how we have our priorities all screwed up. I have seen more Christians champion these two causes (and many others over the years) that have made my stomach churn and my head shake in astonishment. Logic, simple logic has gone out of the window in favor of a rationale that defies the very word itself.
Well, I figured it was time that I write another reaction article to a piece someone shared on Facebook. Now this certainly isn’t a unique post, an article like this one comes across my feed almost daily where people share an article that doesn’t deserve any attention and usually they deal with how Christians bully other people. Granted, some Christians could use a lesson in grace, and some could use a lesson in tact. In the article authored by Stephen Mattson titled, “6 Bad Habits Christians Should Drop” he gives a rather brief list of things he deems harmful to Christianity.
This has been a long time coming and to be honest, its time. The topic I am about to tackle next is a topic that has taken me years to deal with in a tenable way. The title of this article, “Are We Freer than God” is a legitimate question. Most reading this will likely state that we are not. With this being said, what many are saying they believe verses what they actually believe are two very different things.
Last Wednesday night as I sat in a pew in my own church, another church experienced something straight out of a horror film. If you live in America, you know what I am referencing. A young white man, whom I will not name, walked into a church that was predominately black and asked if he could speak with the pastor. He then proceeded to shoot and kill 9 people, including the pastor. Now, some are willing to make excuses for this young man stating mental illness, and instability or are diluted enough to believe that this entire scenario was not motivated by racism.
The trinity is one of Christianity’s oldest and most mysterious doctrines. It has been a topic of much discussion and was in fact one of the first theological areas that theologians attempted to flush out. I’m not going to go into all of that here (mostly because a few books could be written on the topic) but the point I am trying to make ring home is that throughout the church’s history, this has been a topic of importance to the church. For this very reason, it is something worth understanding (as best we can).
Christians can be silly sometimes. There are times that it appears that we argue some of the most ridiculous things. Committees will be started to discuss and decide what kind of flower should be on the stage, what color a wall should be painted, and what carpet should be used. We don’t just argue over carpet and wall color though, we also argue about issues like; the wearing of a hat in church or whether a person can wear shorts on a stage. If this sounds remarkably petty to you, that’s because it is.
I’ve been a Christian for some 15 years now, and have had the privilege of working with all different kinds of faith communities. I’ve witnessed a lot of differing approaches to ministry some of which are wildly successful and others that are wholly underwhelming. What is interesting is that in all of these relationships I have witnessed a very consistent undercurrent within the universal body in America.
Human beings by nature are divisive. We like to categorize, control, and push away those who do not act or look like we do. The Church is meant to reflect a level of unity that puts the world on notice, and certify that the return of the everlasting King of the universe is immanent. We are intended to be a visible, physical representation of the kingdom of heaven. So the question then becomes, why are we so divided? Within American Christianity there are over 1,500 different denominations and world-wide there are as many as 41,000. That’s right; this is how many denominations there are in Christianity alone, not religions in the world.
Since my call to Christ some 15 years ago, I have heard many different ideas and concepts about death. Many of these ideas are ones that ascribed to for most of my life. Death is an uneasy topic…a topic that will quite literally send some out of a room faster than any other topic of conversation. It is…morbid…a thing that no person truly likes to talk about because…well it is inevitable.
My favorite day of the year is upon us…a day that I am surprised is not more important and more celebrated by Christians everywhere. Sure, we go to a service…but are we really celebrating what has occurred in the tomb? Is going to a service and going to a family member’s house for dinner really what Easter is about…or is there something more. Having a son…I am trying to think on ways that he can understand the importance of Easter.
It is amazing isn’t it? To see how easily distracted we become when in the midst of another activity. It is almost as if it is nearly impossible for a person to only do one task at a time now a days.
Perhaps one of my all-time favorite illustrations of God is given life through the pen of C.S. Lewis in his writing of Aslan. For those who haven’t read the Chronicles of Narnia I’ll try not to ruin it. Aslan is a lion, King of Narnia and all that dwell within it.
f God is a person as we concluded last week…then that truth needs to impact how we come to know who he is. Some approach the study of God with an almost scientific outlook. They catalogue facts of the biblical text, looking to reveal who God is through the study of the scriptures.
Perhaps one of the most misunderstood issues within the church is the issue of depression. Many don’t know how to deal with it…not Christians struggling with it, or Christians trying to help the struggling.
Throughout my lifetime, I have been told on a fairly consistent basis that I am arrogant. This has generally been said to me by those above me in status, position, or authority…very rarely has this been said to me by my peers.
Many people today seem to believe that evidence of true biblical faith is founded in “sound doctrine,” while doctrine and theology are certainly important and dictate to us and give us motivation for our actions…it is far from the determining factor for whether someone is counted among the saints.
Well I said I was going to start doing this on a more consistent basis, so here I am attempting to do just that. Today I wanted to explain the importance of theology to faithful Christian living. I hear many (far too many) Christians say things like, “theology is for academics,” or, “theology isn’t as important as how you treat people.”