Z SoccerChic9: Controversial Issues - Part 5
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Well, just in case people were starting to feel happy and non-offended, I decide to pull a controversial issue post on a topic that I know is going to make some people wonder if I've fallen off the deep end. Of course, as I tend to say at the beginning of these types of posts...this is meant to be controversial so you most likely will not agree, which is okay:)

How important is theology? I guess that is the question I have faced since moving out on my own, and I am sure many of you have or will face this question during your life. See, I grew up in a Reformed Calvinist home. Now, for those of you who don't know Reformed Calvinist place a high emphasis on theology. They see theology as a way to deepen your relationship with God as you learn more about Him and what He is saying through the Bible. Calvinism tends to be very Biblically based, and uses scripture to back up pretty much all of the truths held to by the Calvinist. I grew up in a church circle in which I learned the theological truths very early on in my life and could debate and argue the five points of Calvinism with the best of them.

The problem was not the theology, which was very sound and Biblically based; it was the fact that I believed my relationship with God was real and alive because I knew all these things about God. The problem was I knew about God, but the relationship I had with Him was not very real or alive. I had fallen into a works religion, in which I went through the motions, said and argued all the right things, and followed all the traditions.

I know some of you are going to argue that the theology was not at fault; however, it was my attitude. And I believe some of what you say is correct.

It wasn't until I moved out of my parent's home down to The Hat, that I really realized the entire world was not like me. Sure I had many friends, who came from different backgrounds, but the majority of my circles tended to be Reformed Calvinist.

I remember the Reformed church I attended in Medicine Hat. I went there for five weeks, before I stopped attending. The people didn't really talk to me; the youth totally did not talk to me, rather stared at me like I had two heads. I found the services to be going through the motions, and that attitude seemed to be reflected in the congregation. Now, I am sure there were some very nice people there, and I don't want to bash the church on a whole, but from my experience I have never been so embarrassed for a church in how they treated an outsider. If I had not grown up in the church, I don't think I ever would have gone to another church.

I eventually attended a Baptist church in The Hat. Most of you will be surprised that the fact is controversial, but to many people it seemed that I was becoming laid back and not viewing the theological issues as important. Do you know why I attended that church? It was because the people were friendly, and talked to me after the service, it was because the youth welcomed me into their group by the second time I attended a service, it was because the preaching was Biblical and I really enjoyed the fellowship.

I am going to say something - which some of you may have a problem with. Fellowship has become very important to me, to the point that if I attend a church, and they are completely sound Biblically, but there is no growth, and no fellowship, I am more likely to attend a church that I have a few disagreements with but has fellowship, then I am to attend the church that has all the right theology.

As I continue to make friends with completely different backgrounds, I am challenged. Because not everything is clear cut when you open up your circles, and expand your friendships. You see I am meeting people, who have completely different theological views, and yet their lives are on fire for God and their passion is to serve Him. And all I can do in the face of that is thank God for blessing me with people who encourage me to push on in my relationship with Him, and for the way He is broadening my views.

At the end of the day, have we made tiny issues that do not dictate your salvation into large issues to tear apart churches? Is there a problem with me worshiping beside someone who believes in speaking in tongues, or a woman who believes in adult baptism over infant baptism? I tend to think not, for the important thing is that we love God and our relationship with Him is real. It is not about if you have all the right theological arguments, it's about your love and relationship with and for God.

All that said, as much as some of you will assume I have forsaken everything I was taught while growing up - that is untrue. The Bible is my ultimate authority for what I believe in. I'm just excited for how God continues to make my relationship with Him more real and alive, and less going through the motions.

(Wow, that was way too long of a post:)


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