Why do you follow the people you follow? Why are you a part of the groups you associate with? Is it the people? The vision? The way you feel when you’re around those people?
The recent Rob Bell “pre-mature” controversy brings this thought to the front of my heart and mind. I remember when I wasn’t a Christian (about 15 years ago)… one of my reasons for abstaining from the whole “Religion thing” was the way the “so called” Christians treated each other. Everyone had all the right answers and EVERYONE outside of their camp were idiots or worse yet, going to hell! This was my perception as a teenager that gave me an excuse not to take Jesus seriously… now as an adult, and a member of the Body of Christ, sadly I feel the same way. Jesus said they will know you’re my disciples by how you love each other (John 13:34-35)… But to the contrary, by the way some of us love other Christians, the world sits back and laughs at us as we self-destruct!
Now let me say this… there are people I consider dangerous in their theology! So I’m not saying we are not supposed to question and guard against what people say. Not everything everyone says is worthy of repeating… and I would include myself in that category. I have spit a few things out of my mouth over the years and later realized I missed the mark!
But I do want to say that as important as doctrine and theology are… yours might not be 100% right, which means you should watch who you call a false prophet!
My hope is that people pursue God with a right heart and correct motives… and this is a very difficult thing to accomplish and I would argue it can only be achieved with some help from our creator God. Jesus is the only thing that brings our hearts and motives in line with God and without that alignment, you are probably seeking doctrine and theology for some personal and selfish reasons.
So, can we be a tribe of people who honor and value one another even if we disagree with some of the positions others cling to? Is it possible to do this within the Christian Community? I know I listen to a number of people I disagree with on same major theological things, but I learn something from them every time. I don’t listen to anyone and everyone, but I decided a while ago, I would not refuse to listen to people just because I disagreed with them… and I will make sure that my view of the person is not changed because their theology is not 100% in alignment with mine!
Until next time : )