Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know. But if any man love God, the same is known of him (1 Corinthians 8:1-3).
It is good for us to consider the things of God. Who Jesus is, what he stands for, and what the message of the gospel means for us. It is good for us to search the scriptures and have meaningful discussions with others about the faith, especially those within the faith for the purpose of helping one another grow.
I don’t know a lot about Christian history and all that has taken place within the various denominations and movements since Jesus walked the earth. I know there has always been issues of debate. We can see that in the Bible because Paul the Apostle addressed many areas of concern. I cannot help but wonder sometimes when the ideas we hear commonly taught today were established.
Those who read KindlingTruth might know that I take some controversial stances regarding Christian doctrine and even the gospel itself. I generally disagree with common ideas about heaven, hell, the sovereignty of God, and the promises of salvation. Though, not in an absolute sense. Most ideas have some truth mixed with a misunderstanding, or the message is incomplete in some way.
Even so, it can begin to seem almost like I enjoy going against the grain or upsetting people. I want to make it known that I do not enjoy that at all, but more than that, there is something I want to say about knowledge and understanding.
We are told that if we seek, we will find. If we study the Bible seriously, pray, and seek Jesus in truth, ask to be filled with the Holy Spirit, and make seeking out God and the things pertaining to the kingdom of heaven priority, we will grow in these things. As a Christian, I cannot imagine anything more important or interesting to pursue. Although, I did spend most of my life as one who called herself a Christian but gave little thought for these things. So, I get that too.
We are also told that we are not to “bury our talent.” The Lord has given me some measure of talent for writing, for understanding the gospel of the kingdom of heaven, and conveying things in a way that make sense to at least a few people.
It is virtuous for us to stand up for what we believe in. It is good to defend our Lord and what he teaches and stands for, and although to what measure we seek understanding and knowledge we will find it, there is something that is more important. We have to love one another, and we should always remain teachable and know that no matter how much we think we know, we don’t know anything as well as we should.
There are times when my tone might sound very unloving, but my heart towards people is not hateful. If you saw a small child running headlong into traffic, would you say “sweet heart, you might want to slow down,” or would you sound a little more serious, maybe even harsh? I would be negligent if I did not stand my ground and try to warn Christians before they get smashed by a semi truck, all the while thinking their legalism will save them.
Even so, there are many areas in which we can disagree, and that is okay. I will stand my ground and present evidence based in scriptures, and anyone else can do the same. Understanding is not as important to God as a sincere heart, and that is what most of my writings that get a bit heated are about. Sincerity of heart and seeking the healing that the gospel offers.
Although the fuller message of the gospel is what I’m after, I have realized over time that even though there is room to debate many things, key doctrines have an affect on the gospel message to greater and lesser degrees. Therefore, I have to tackle these things, and I have to defend my position because all things work together to create a full and clear message that explains the purpose of creation, who God is, who Jesus is, and what salvation means.
One misunderstanding, even in something small, can affect the whole message. It is all important, and nothing related to Jesus should be taken lightly. I do not want to offend people. I do not like upsetting people, neither do I feel like a know it all or feel high and mighty about what I do. It is out of love that I do it. If I did not love the Lord, if I did not love you, then I would not make a target out of myself.
What is the point I am trying to make?
I do not hate people. I especially do not hate Christians who disagree with me. In-fact, I have an appreciation for the anger people sometimes show towards me because that means that on some level, they care about the faith. Though I believe many are deceived by the traditional views, if they did not have some measure of love for Jesus, they would not feel upset by those who challenge their beliefs. Of course that is not always the case. People can oppose for many reasons, however, I try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. Especially if you say you are a Christian.
I’m glad you care enough to become upset. Keep caring. Care enough to search the Bible for yourself if you can. Care enough to debate me. Challenge the things I write. Challenge what you are taught in church. Pray and seek the truth. The Lord, Jesus Christ, will reveal Truth to those who diligently seek him.
Even so, though we all have to follow our conscience, and mine dictates that I seek the truth of the gospel and strongly stand with it, God is not impressed by our knowledge. God resists the proud, and if we become vain or full of pride, any knowledge we think we have is probably not all that sound because God will likely blind us. He wants us to love one another. We cannot lose sight of that.