Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Where does your theology come from?

Where does your theology come from?

                In some Christian circles, the word "theology" has gotten a bad name. Even as other people are being drawn into liturgy and traditions of man, in these circles, "theology" has taken on a context so negative you'd think that theological discussion was the work of the enemy. What is so evil about theology? Why does it strike fear in the hearts of so many pastors and parishioners? First, let's look at what the word even means. 

Theology: The study of the nature of God and religious belief.

                OK, well, that seems fairly innocuous. Why in the world would so many people demonize and shy away from the study of (or discussion about) the nature of God? Doesn't the Word itself tell us many times over to earnestly seek after Him and to know Him better? Doesn't that same Word also talk about meeting together, and iron sharpening iron? Clearly, we are to seek to know Him better, part of that process being discussing what we're learning with one another and even challenging one another's ideas, in order to get to the Truth. 

                So that begs the question, with so many different theologies out there, where do they come from? Those claiming that God accepts homosexuals just as they are and does not require them to leave that lifestyle to become members (or even pastors) clearly have a different theology than those who claim that God loves (and we are to love) homosexuals, but that their lifestyle is a sin which must be dealt with before accepting them into membership, much less leadership. The former happily celebrate same-sex unions in their church buildings, while the latter feel that practice is heresy. Many of the first group even feel strongly enough about this issue that they feel the government should step in and remove churches and businesses from the latter, and would gladly, proudly, turn them in for this purpose. 

                How diametrically opposed can one group (the church) be? And this is just one issue! There is only one God, there is only one Truth, so how can each of these groups be right? They can't, plain and simple. God has one opinion on this issue and someone, maybe everyone, is on the wrong side of it. Knowing how strongly both sides feel on this issue, isn't it ignorant not to assume that God has just as strong an opinion? He loves both sides, He loves the homosexuals in the center of the debate. Knowing that He loves and does not wish that any be lost and go to hell, doesn't it behoove EVERYONE in the discussion to let their own opinions go, fall on their faces and pray, and seek His Word for His final say on the issue? This way, if the former group is wrong, they, and their homosexual church members and leaders can repent and be saved. If the latter group is wrong, they can do the same. 

                So, if someone's wrong (and someone is), where did that wrong theology, that misunderstanding of God, come from? Did they misread the Bible? Did they just make it up for themselves? Did someone else intentionally mislead them? Looking at issues (and denominations) under this particular light, it poignantly drives home the point that we need to take serious stock of our theologies and make sure that we're right with God. The church today is made up of factions, most of which simply must be wrong about who God is if there is but one Truth, all working towards their own goals, not God's, and not together in anything remotely resembling unity. This is not His perfect design for the church. God did not curse the church, His Body, with the same division and confusion with which He cursed the world after the tower of Babel. 

                That's an important point to remember here...There is only one God, there is only one Truth. With all the (mostly disingenuous) talk out there about "unity" and "just getting along" and "banding together despite our differences", seeking after God's true character with all your heart has become something of a divisive pursuit. But when seeking after Him with our whole heart, one must necessarily come to a place where you ask; where did all these different ideas, denominations, traditions and theologies come from? Why don't we actively seek to find true unity by setting aside all these misconceptions and come together to really seek His one Truth? How much more, better, real unity could we find then? How does God feel about this? Wouldn't He seek to reveal Himself more clearly to a body who was willing to seek Him in this way? 

                I humbly submit that this is precisely what He has been desiring to do for some time now. So let us respond to Him in the only appropriate way we can. Let us come together, as one Body, globally, and fall on our faces, repent of our division, search our His Word for His view on the issues which divide us, and begin walking together in real unity, with one accepted view of who God is, what He wants, how we are to serve Him...One Theology, that He may receive the glory which only He deserves. 

In Service of the King,

~Michael "Blue" Erdmier