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Religious Wars Over Minutia

I've rarely gone with the grain of religion for peace or unity's sake. If I see something wrong in religion, I speak up about it. Bad doctrines, unscriptural theology, shaky belief systems, the latest movement/revival with some questionable elements.

I sometimes wonder whether speaking up is a good approach! I know certainly it's righteous to rebuke things that rebel against God...but there elements I wonder what benefit comes from it.

Everyone pushes some kind of theology. Your classic gentile Christian will expound to you the theology of faith and grace, how God forgives you straight out. Maybe even without repentance.

Some Evangelicals might talk about how wonderful this new revival is and all the things the spirit is doing, the healings, the signs and wonders.

And of course I'll tell you about God's Torah -- the first 5 books of Jewish and Christians Scriptures -- and how it contains the plumbline, the reference point, the base foundation containing God's hands-on, day-to-day instructions to his people.

But in the process of rebuking the doctrines you disagree with, or the ones you find some fault in, you end up hurting people, offending people. Sometimes these people are honestly looking for God. Some of them are probably living a life more in line with God than you do! When that happens, I must question, was it worth it?

Frequent blog reader Pam writes,

Many people relegate Jesus to the world of abstract thought. Spending the bulk of their time engaged in Star Wars like spiritual battles as they contend for the faith. I also have spent more than my share of time in the abstract world of theological thought and fought many spiritual battles in cyberspace. However, when the reality of sin and its consequences comes crashing in an abstract Jesus isn't enough. Even when we suffer because of the sin of another, theology and doctrine are not enough to sustain when your heart is being crushed.

For me, it's not just cyberspace battles, but real-life battles as well.

I concur with her sentiment that the theology won't hold you up when the reality of sin exists. When you were doing your own thing, rebelling against God and you finally come to a place of broken repentance, man, then there's God. Skip the doctrines for now. Don't tell me about the latest theologies. I'll pass. That stuff isn't so important, I think.

Sometimes I just want God. I'm convinced people can get God even with faulty theology.

Where's the fruit of rebuke? I suppose accepting correction and repentance of evil practiced in the name of God is worth it. I just need some reassurance, because this kind of correction rarely happens. Perhaps the issue is not with rebuke, but the failure to keep the big picture in mind when these things happen.

The big picture? We're all God's kids, and if you're really looking for Him, you'll find Him. I believe that's a true statement even if you've got bad theology.

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