Saturday, May 10, 2014

I'm Tired

Okay….I’m going to confess and as the same time, I’ll try not to complain.  Candidly, I’m tired.  If I were Bill Cosby I would precede tired with sick, you know, “I’m sick and tired.”  (Okay, I know, that sure sounds like complaining)
The issue which has drawn my attention is the banter among us “BAPTISTS.”  It seems that the entire online “Christian” blogosphere, videos, blog videos, and all the rest seem to all have the same desire.  That desire is to set straight the theology of people who dare to speak, post, or act.  Also in the ‘bull’s-eye’ are the projects which attempt to point people and influence mankind to turn their backs on the world’s system and turn their faces toward Jesus.  From where I sit, one guy states an opinion in which his heart is, obviously, given to the Lord and he’s attempting to influence his readers toward Christ, the cross, repentance, and salvation.  Does he cross every theological “T” and dot every theological “I” (well the capital “I” has no dot, but you get the idea)?  Probably not – but the message of Jesus and the gospel has not been compromised, so?
Enter the theological police!  We have writers from at least two generations who have discerned the call of God on their lives to be the “Master Correctors”, the “Holders of the Theological Chalice”, and more importantly, the “Ones who have the market on God’s Word.”  Honestly (Here comes my complaining suggestion), “GIVE IT A REST.”  From the character of God as revealed in Holy Scripture, I would be surprised, if not shocked, if God was pleased with the pointless and needless verbiage which has become the norm of the day.  While the internet (and other mediums) are ablaze with “Christian Leaders” arguing about the finer point of scripture, our culture is disintegrating, churches are dying, authentic disciples are evaporating, and the world (the people who don’t know God through Christ) is racing toward a Christ-less eternity.
We (the church) carried a large segment of our congregation to see “God’s Not Dead” and the people who were in attendance were encouraged by the over-riding story-line, not necessarily by the details of theology.  Candidly, there were some things which bothered me greatly as a theologian, but this movie is not a theological school, rather the goal was simply to say to this culture that “God is, in fact, not dead.”  This truth is the single lesson from the movie (remember, it is a movie) and yet, one after another now writes in the blogosphere telling the planet how bad this movie really is.
Next the movie, “Heaven is for Real” came out and it’s the same song – second verse.  For me, this movie was a huge disappointment because the story, as written in the book, was not truly told.  It was changed, added to, taken away from, and for me, kind of hacked to pieces.  YET – the story was born in the heart, life, and experience of a 4-year old.  And now prominent preachers are taking their cue to belittle this movie because their understanding of heaven and eternity vary greatly from what this little boy experienced.  Once again, this is tiring.  I’m not made, but I’m really tired. 
Then in the theological realm among the churches, no – not among the churches but among the “Trained Leadership (that would be preachers)” in our denomination, we spent much time and energy or whether you are a Calvinist, a Traditionalist, an Armenian, or _______? (Well - you fill in the blank).  This would be humorous if it weren’t so sad.  Someone asks me, “Are you a Calvinist?”  My answer is always the same, “Obviously you are simply talking about soteriology (everything has to have a BIG WORD TODAY) and with “Calvinism” - I would agree on about 2 points (if you let me define the points), but no I’m not a Calvinist.”  Then you’re an Armenian?  No, I am not an Armenian either?  So here come the follow up question with big eyes and a puzzled look?  “So what are you then?”  My answer is this:  People have been trying to figure that out for years, but my answer is that I don’t need any other big word, big name, or fancy title than “Follower of Christ” or “Disciple.”  I will certainly not take the name of any belief system which is derived from any human except Jesus.  For most of my friends and colleagues, this means I am simple and just don’t understand.  Perhaps.
What interest me greatly is this; for most of the discussion, debate, and attempt at correction – many if not most – don’t really understand it all and are simply too afraid to admit it.  Their idea is that “WE MUST HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS, AFTER ALL, WE’RE REALLY SMART!!!”  It kind of reminds me of the 5th grade when we were too proud to admit when we didn’t know something, so our natural response was let’s ‘fight about it and settle the matter once and for all.’  Fighting with words or fist proved little back them and less today. 
Jesus’ words are, “Except you come as a little child.”  So this is our starting point.  From this stage we grow into Spiritual maturity (at least we’re supposed to).  This call is to be child-like, not childish.  Now, the argument develops.  Aren’t we to develop and defend what we know?  Agreed.  However, my simple minds reminds me daily that I will never know it all.  There are some things, which many believe they have figured out and God may not have intended for us know.
We still ‘See in a Glass Darkly,’ – OH, but one day -------- 

We will see Him as HE is and we’ll be like Him.  My heart is this: Until that day, let’s share Him with those who need Him, encourage those who follow Him, and love Him (so we can love them) with all our hearts.  Let’s get together and stop ‘flying apart.’  Then, REST can come.  After all, there is indeed only “One Spirit, One Lord, One Faith, and One Baptism.”  

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