Tuesday, May 6, 2008

More Questions that Deserve an Answer...

Can Godly Christians disagree? If you believe in Predestination are you not a Christian? If you believe in Arminianism are you not a Christian? If you are a Christian can you still believe in Predestination or Arminianism? If you consider yourself a sanctified Christian does anyone else think you are? Is their any fruit to your labor in Christ? What is it? How have you specifically loved your neighbor? Are your words empty and hollow or have you fleshed out the theology you profess? Do you have to be a matured, sanctified Christian to love others. As a sanctified, mature Christian, do you love others? What do you do with a faithful follower of Christ whose faith doesn't look exactly like yours?

7 comments:

Mel said...

This hits me. I tutor an eighth grader that goes to a private school and it is exam time. As I was helping him study and get organized yesterday, we began preparing for his Religion exam. WOW, I was shocked at the difference in theology, and sadly my first reaction was a bit of snobbery, but then I took a minute. In that minute that still small voice spoke. See with this child as with many teens life is black and white, and I don't want to be that voice that tells him everyone outside of my denomination is wrong. So what followed was a frank conversation, he asked me a ton of questions; I shared my faith. Sadly, its the first time in too long. Why is that? Most times I'm afraid that I won't get it right, afraid that a question will stump me and make my faith look weak.
BUT Thank God, He is working in me, He is making me become more brave. He helps me to love my disorganized non-studious friend and gives me courage to share my faith.
Can I disagree with this school, its theology? Yes, but is that what matters to this situation. I think not, had I enumerated every difference in these two theologies I would have made this child's view of religion much more cloudy. What I can do is seize this minute and share the common denominator:Jesus.

Jimmy said...

I think I am struggling with these same issues. Our family went to a baptist church, and I had gone to a baptist church for all my life.
Now we are looking for a new church family and my wife and I are not in agreement of what church to pursue. I have grown tired of the baptist churches. I want something more thought provoking, but my wife seems to think that other denominations don't cross over. I tried to tell her that we are all under the umbrella of believers and not just one single church family, but I don't think I got very far with this and I supposed I will resign myself to attending a baptist church just to make life easier for myself.

Craig said...

There are many great Baptist churches in town, I'm glad to say. As I've often said, there are different churches for different people-not right or wrong-just different. That's not to say there are no wrong churches. But it IS to say there are many great churches that hold different beliefs but study the same Bible and worship the same God.

In my view, God will definitely judge all churches and all people. He tells us pretty clearly that judgement is His business and loving Him and our neighbor is ours.

David said...

Yes, as Mel said, the common denominator is Jesus (if He is the Jesus of the Bible). We should indeed be welcome to differing viewpoints on theological matters that are not essential to our faith, namely who God is and what the cross was about. Sadly, however, many churches don't get that part right. IF that's the case here (and I don't know that it is) then that's where you have an EXCELLENT starting point with this friend of yours and his family. He already has a quest to know God. He might indeed be wrong on some theology that is essential to our common faith. If he is, it should be easy to rally behind the common denominator, Jesus, and show him the truth. Iron sharpening iron. If he is differing on theological matters that are non-essential to our faith, then I applaud you in loving him and accepting the differences!

David said...

Here's a question that deserves an answer. Why is Craig Strickland involved in a event along with the Jesus Seminar founder John Dominic Crossan and other Fellows of the Jesus Seminar? Don't know what the Jesus Seminar is? Follow this link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_Seminar

That's the kind of people Craig associates with.

kris said...

wow, i think i've heard this last comment somewhere before... "look who he's chillin with... sinners, tax collectors, prostitutes, etc. etc." too bad they didn't have blogs back then!

actually, i personally like to hear that our christian leaders are hanging out with people that are different from themselves. isn't there something to say for making a difference in more places than just inside one's church? the healthy still don't need a doc, right? seems to me like he's only doing what his book seems to be about - moving past differences so one can love/serve/learn about & hang out with people different from themselves.

oh well, i already know i'm fighting a losing battle here, but thanks for listening! :)

Sandy said...

I appreciate and adhere to Hope's motto: "We don't shoot the wounded." I carry that a step further: I don't shoot different faiths. Regarding church/belief/theology, I believe if sometimes we inadvertently "get it wrong" - God knows our heart. Isn't he awesome!