Orthodoxy…does it matter anymore?
Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters.
Alternate translation of this verse: “Welcome the man who is weak in the faith, but do not introduce him straight away to the discussion of questions which can only raise doubts.” —some are so strong-no debate will shake them—however, there are others.
Our culture is one that is fond of discussion for discussion’s sake.
Christianity is not a series of questions simply for debate, as some would have us believe.
G.K. Chesterton, “We have found all the questions that can be found. It is time we stopped looking for questions and started looking for answers.”
Goethe, “Tell me of your certainties I have doubts enough of my own..”
Questions are not wrong-however, we must conclude with affirmation.
–Dr. Barclay-Romans 14.
I recently taught this chapter on our Wednesday night Bible study at our church. There is this whole group of young leaders who tend to question and deconstruct all things church and church tradition. Incorporating deeply challenging questions to core tennets of the faith as a means of discipleship. Claiming these questions and this exposure is actually strengthening their faith. I whole-heartily agree that shepherds/pastors should be thoroughly versed in these issues, however, I’ve been thinking about the role of the shepherd.
Leadership, within the church, is to provide nurture, protection and guidance. (Yeah, of course, the occasional rebuke etc) Recently I have heard criticism aimed at leaders that are bringing to light heretical teachings of others. These leaders aren’t dealing simply with “disputable matters”, they are dealing with issues of orthodoxy. The Emerging Church is at the forefront of this discussion. These emerging leaders are incredible communicators and wonderfully persuasive. They speak about the Word of God as so complicated and mysterious that no one can understand it. They lean on a progressive reasoning and human logic to lead to conclusions about hell, eternity, judgment and other key issues that the Scriptures do not provide. Conclusions that are truly against Scripture.
Evangelicals that bring to light issues of orthodox theology should not be painted as mean-spirited or judgmental. Pastors and leaders have a biblical mandate to speak the truth in love. The Apostle Paul addressed the heresy of the Judizers. The Apostle John debunked the Gnostics, Jude, Peter etc. These men took drastic measures to protect the sheep.
It definitely looks as if social action (gospel) is the new theological gateway drug to universalism. By the way, universalism is more damning than legalism (Apostle Paul) and as damning as Gnosticism (Apostle John). It is up to us to not allow this.
Well, all for now. I hate reading long blogs, so…. (FYI–didn’t proof this)