To those of you who read KindlingTruth, I could use your help. I have an approach I’m thinking about, and I want to know if this would be helpful for you.
First, some background. There is an article a friend of mine has asked me to write about a Christian doctrine, and I’ve been sitting on the thing for weeks now. I promised to get it done, and I will. There are a few reasons why I have not done so yet. Honestly, something inside me has changed somewhat recently. It concerned me at first because it was like my inner fire or zeal died out. I just don’t want to argue anymore. There is so much arguing out there, and I just want peace, you know? This world is hard and it seems like everyone is at each other’s throats, blaming this group or that group, denying their own wrong doings and tearing each other down. I realize I’ve been that person. I don’t want to be that person.
The Christian faith should be a place of safety and peace, not a place where those of our own house are tearing each-other down. I understand division must be to some degree, and serious departures from sound doctrine are worth dividing over. Yet, we need a refuge from this world. I expect the destruction in this world to only worsen, and I have faith that when the world wholly turns on Christianity, we will bind together. We will have to in order to make it through.
Being someone who holds somewhat contrary beliefs at times, I fear that when writing an article about doctrine I might get caught up in some bad habits that do not really serve anyone well, habits that do not bind together but divide and weaken. I’ve been thinking about the best way to approach this so that I can be of better service and not so self-gratifying and proud.
What if I made an honest attempt at showing key Christian doctrines in a way that makes a clear case for each side? For example, the article my friend wants me to write pertains to the question of where Christians go when they die. If I were to answer this question by considering all points of view honestly and without bias, I would have to present a case for the idea that we go straight to heaven and also present the case for what some call “soul sleep” which means we await the resurrection that takes place when Jesus returns and as of now no one is in heaven.
I could then bring up the beliefs that are closely tied to this subject and present cases for each perspective. The idea of where Christians go when they die naturally leads to other key doctrines like the resurrection, the rapture, the nature of hell, predestination/free will, and even the nature of man as spirit, soul and body. That could lead to discussion about the Trinity and nature of God. So you see, each doctrine in the faith is tied together in some way. If we err in one way, we might err in many.
Sound doctrine is important, and I will not easily abandon my own beliefs. Even so, I think if we at least had some compassion for the views which are different from our own, we can look at our brethren more graciously and grow in humility and love. If I were able to make a good case for every side, do you think this would be beneficial? I’m not the strongest person when it comes to handling the Bible, as I mentioned recently, but I don’t want to be negligent out of fear of my shortcomings. Rather, I want to have faith in the strength of the Lord, and if it is His will, I will try this approach.
Even so, I want to hear from you. Would this serve you or confuse you? Would this lead to greater compassion and unity or fuel more conflict and division? If you want to share your thoughts, you can email me or leave a comment. I appreciate you!