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What do you believe?

What is your theology?  Do you just trust the Bible?  Do you depend on what you see and hear at Church to inform you about God and theology?  Does being a Christian depend on what you believe?  There are a vast number of systems of theology in this country.  Which one do you follow?  Do you know what it is and what influences it has over your view of life and the world around you?  What are the essentials of the Christian faith?  What are the non-essentials?  Is there any value in asking these questions in the first place?

Most of us don’t pick our theology, we grow up in it.  Our theology is just with us and envelopes us.  It is a familiar blanket that keeps us warm and cozy.  The blanket might have some holes in it, but that’s OK, it is old and well used so it is entitled.  How much of your theology is Christian and how much of it is simply the current philosophical trend of thought?  Is the world shaping your theology?  Are you comfortable with some of the conclusions that your theology draws?

The average Christian would never think to ask these questions.  To many it would seem sacrilegious to do so.  Others will defend their theological system to the death while at the same time hardly knowing its roots and its implications.

I have a love hate relationship with systematic theology.  At some points the systems seem to capture truth about God and about man that is vital to know.  At other times the theology comes to conclusions about us and God that simply don’t line up with Scripture.  God will not allow Himself to be contained in some intellectual box that man constructs about Him.

Jesus had a pretty simple approach.  Come follow me.  Who do you say I am?  I came to die for you?  I will pour out My Spirit upon you?  I come to bring you abundant life.  You will be one with me as I am one with the Father.

God has revealed Himself in Scriptures and He continues to reveal Himself to those who would follow Him.  That reality for me stands above our systems of theology.  Our theology is ever changing.  God’s truth does not change.  The more our understanding of God aligns with His Truth, the stronger will be our Christian witness and our walk with Him.  What we believe is important.  Who we believe in is infinitely more important.

Truth is not of your own making.  Truth is not a product of your own efforts or actions.  Truth is not the product of consensus or community agreement.  The notion that your truth is right for you and my truth is right for me is a lie. Any view of truth that is derived from self is an illusion.  Such truth does not exist.

Truth is transcendent and discoverable.  Truth exists. Truth is not of our making it is of God.

Jesus tells us that He is the way the truth and the life and that no one comes to the Father but by Him.  Simple truth.  God’s truth.

Is that a part of your theology?  Is this a part of your world view?  Do you live your life in total reliance on this being a statement of truth?

If you reject this truth, what is your basis for doing so?  What is your standard?  What is your authority for doing so?  Ultimately a rejection of the truth is a rejection of Christ and an affirmation of self as the sole adjudicator of what is true.

A lot of what you experience at Church today has it backwards.  The Church is often more a proponent of man’s truth above God’s truth.  The sad part is that the lambs are too docile to ask the hard questions that are required to challenge their leaders and teachers.

During the Pope’s visit I heard on several occasions form Catholic Fathers that there are many roads to God.  Over and over again I hear from the TV Protestant pastors a message of human potential and effort which is a direct teaching of existentialism.  We are so easily led astray.  Are you?

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