Tomorrow I get to fly back home to enjoy a day with the friends that help us pray and listen to Jesus for what we do through Lifestream and The God Journey, and to have a day with our whole family. Looking forward to it.
Last week I found this email that so resonated with me as well:
It’s funny how when Christian folks find out we don’t attend a church, we kind of become their project to get us into their church. I’m sure I was exactly the same, not too long ago. A couple guys that I have become friends with are very intellectual in their pursuit of God. One attends a Catholic church, the other a Baptist church. Every so often, they will buy me a book to read or CD’s to listen to. I’m reading a book about a protestant who turned catholic and a book about Calvinism. I may have to start turning down their requests to read these books because I feel like I’m all cluttered up, if that makes sense.
Both are very passionate about doctrine. Their argument is that if you don’t have correct doctrine/theology, you can’t really get to know God. I appreciate their passion to know God better, I’m just not so sure of the route. God always amazes me and seems to reveal Himself to us, even when we aren’t “doing it right”, so I believe He will honor the desire of their hearts to know Him. I don’t really know if I’m a Calvinist or an Armenian or somewhere in the middle. I’m not really sure I care what camp I fall into. My focus and prayer for months has been:
- “Father, I want to know you more intimately, the way you want me to know you.”
- “Father, open my eyes and help me to see how much you love me and those around me, and teach me to respond to that love.”
- “Father, when I read the Bible, reveal yourself to me. Help me to see what you want me to see about you.”
Then I get around these real intellectual guys and I think, “is my approach too simple?”. But when I start studying all the heady stuff, I get all clogged up. When I go back to just my simple focus, I mentioned above, there is a rest and peace. I guess that answers my question, huh?
Yes, I think he did!
I know for me when my spiritual journey was more of a head trip than learning to live loved, I was much more enamored with doctrinal positions. While I still believe in the importance of sound doctrine and growing in the truthof who God is, I don’t think he is nearly so complicated as some scholars would have us believe. Learning to live in his love and love those around me, including those who cross my path each day, is far more joyful and far more intellectually challenging than all the other things that use to fascinate me. And his truth emerges in the loving.
I guess that’s what Paul meant when he said “knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.” Living loved leads to correct doctrine, but rarely does correct doctrine lead to living loved.