Saturday, October 4, 2014

Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes (Knees and Toes)

I have to admit something, I can be judgmental. What is worse, I can be judgmental about my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.

One of the worst ways I judge others is when they express views about the Bible that I may not fully agree with. And that isn't right.

I am not saying I should passively sit by and watch as someone butchers the gospel, that I will step into. But when they express a secondary view on a piece of passage, I need to rejoice instead of mentally roll my eyes.

I believe there is some core theology Christians in general share and need to believe as a cohesive group. The gospel being a major point (God loves me, I sin, Christ died, I need Jesus to reconcile to God). But views on women? Views on sexuality? I don't need every Christian in my life to agree 100% with me on that. Those are secondary theological views that are not inherent to one's salvation.

Because those views while an integral part to one's identity and faith do not determine whether or not someone is a Christian.

I think 1 Corinthians 12 sheds a little light about this regarding spiritual gifts and how we are a diverse body. So too I think denominations are a diverse body. If everyone was Presbyterian for example, we all would be boring because we all believe the same thing and how to approach different aspects of Church and community. God is a complex being, God is not boring, so no wonder people through the ages have seen different aspects of God and thought "This is of high value." Sure others disagreed, but are they not in their actions and thoughts still worshiping this God who has instilled the gospel in their hearts?

It is never my place to judge, especially when it comes to my brothers and sisters in Christ. If their beliefs and actions are stemming from the Gospel and not meant to harm others or the Church, who am I to get in their way? God is complex and therefore the people's secondary theological beliefs are complex and varying.

I have been to many churches with differing denominational beliefs, and while sometimes I think "Oh, I don't think I agree 100% with that." Never have I felt the need to talk out of a service because the gospel was completely skewed and incorrect. And that is okay. Am I willing to search for the ways the service can refine me? Or will I walk out because I see one defect. If God did that in my life, he wouldn't last a minute in my presence.

We need to implement the gospel in our thinking when we look at different churches, we need to give them grace. Because broken people make a broken church that only works because of God and what Jesus did our lives. Our works will never be perfect because then we would leave God and worship ourselves. That wouldn't work out very well.

I am starting to learn to love the diversity. Because when I start to step back and just see people in my life through the lens of love and pursuit of the Gospel; I start to see their approach as beautiful, the way the people there intend it to be.

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