With this post I am starting a new category. It is called the Best of the Past. I will be pulling up some of the previous two years posts to look at them again. This one is from October 1, 2009
Is it possible to know too much about Christian theology. I didn’t used to think so but I am tending to come to that conclusion recently. It seems that the more I study Christian theology/doctrine/dogma the more I see the disharmony in Christ’s church. Because of that I am beginning to wonder if anyone really has it right! To me the most important verses in the Bible are:
Matt 22:36-40 NIV
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied:‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
But, when I study church history and different Christian sects these words seem to get drowned out by things like:
- full vs. partial immersion baptism
- whether faith alone is enough or whether works is also required
- whether God gives us free will or He has already decided whether we get heaven or hell
- whether we should be snake handlers as proof that we are Christians
- Whether the bible is all we need or whether church tradition is also needed
- Whether the words of Matthew 16 made Peter the Pope
This list could almost go on almost endlessly. We seem to be arguing over everything and mostly ignoring the “important” stuff! Jesus time and again told us we must be like little children if we want to truly follow him. Let’s look at some of the passages where he talks of this:
Matt 18:3-4 NIV
“I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
Mark 10:14-16 NIV
“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
Luke 10:21 NIV
“I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.
Of course little children wouldn’t know much theology but they get the simple message that God is Love. They don’t lose sight of this the most important thing. I have always thought that knowing church history and its dogma was important to really knowing God but maybe all that stuff is just “stuff” that can drown out the simple truth of God. Maybe the old saying Ignorance is Bliss is really true when it comes to following Jesus on this side of heaven. More on that idea in my next post.
Here we are 15 months later and I feel more strongly about this now than I did even then. We Christians have made such a mess of God’s church with all our legalisms, traditions, institutional purity, and such. And the rest of the world has noticed. That is one of the primary reasons for seemingly constant shrinking church attendance. It is time to get back to the main and really only message and that is to just follow Jesus. All this other stuff is just noise getting in the way!!