It’s come to my attention I may not have the perfect view of theology. ;o)
You know how we often ask each other what has God been showing you lately?
Well to sum up the main point from my last year or so, the answer would be: to stop being so hard headed!
I knew I was wrong about some of my beliefs. (Chances that I had the perfect view of theology were pretty slim! And there was always plenty that plain confused me.) But I didn’t have much time for people who varied very far from my view point.
God used someone else’s error to show me mine. When I got upset with someone else being divisive I realised how restrictive my view of Christianity was.
Regulations v. Treasures
I used to wish that the Bible was an instruction manual/rule book. Then we wouldn’t be confused about anything, we wouldn’t debate different viewpoints, and we wouldn’t have to wrestle with it.
While it would make life simple, it obviously wasn’t the best for us. God could have written the Bible any way He wanted. And He wanted it just how it is. Detailed and nuanced and sometimes confusing. But also deep and rich and full of treasure that we would need the Holy Spirit to understand.
There’s lots in the Bible we can be certain about. Much of it is clear, plain fact.
Jude (v 3) says, “I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.”
We can dogmatically argue that Jesus is God. Or that we’re saved by faith. And so on for many major Bible principles.
Then there are issues that the Bible doesn’t make so clear.
Were the nephilim monsters, demons, giants or other? I don’t think we can argue dogmatically. The Bible doesn’t make it so obvious. What’s more, it doesn’t seem like it makes a big difference right now.
But what about issues that do affect how we live; What music should we listen to? What is okay to wear? What movies can we watch? And so on. The Bible gives us principles and guidelines, but it’s hard draw a line in the sand that’s universally applicable.
And then what about bigger doctrines, that are often talked about, like; How spiritual gifts apply. Election versus free will. Etc. Issues that have serious Christians taking Bible based views on both sides.
Clearly both sides can’t be right. And I think Scripture probably does give us enough info to arrive at a conclusion. But how much should we proclaim and defend it.
In the past I’ve said and written things with more surety than is probably justified. I’ve held standards and suggested people do things that I no longer believe.
So when is it okay to proclaim something? If the conclusion you’ve arrived at is not spelled out in Scripture, then can you ever recommend that other people follow your advice? Is it safe to preach a standard of living, when your view may change at some point in the future?
Those are questions I’ve thought about lately. Of course I’ve actually got views on some of the answers. But what do you think?