Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Making decisions about what I believe...

Calvinism vs. Arminianism...Covenant Theology vs. Dispensationalism...these are terms we often hear in Christians circles.  We hear someone say something that points toward them believing one or the other side of these issues, and we tack one of these labels on them...sometimes we're happy about the label we've given them, sometimes we're not.

Where am I on these issues?  I really don't know...I think I'm too young and uneducated to decide.  I know when it comes  to Covenant Theology vs. Dispensationalism, I certainly lean to the dispensational side...but then comes the question...where are you on the dispensational spectrum?  Again, I really don't know...

I took two classes this last semester at Northland that talked about these topics quite a bit.  One of the classes was Biblical Hermeneutics.  Which, if you're unaware of what that is, it's "the science and art of Biblical interpretation"(Mr. Trach would be so proud that I could still quote that from memory).  One of the things our teacher, Mr. Trach, said I really liked...he said that before making up our minds what we believe about topics like this, we should do A LOT of study on them.  He said that if someone makes up their mind really quickly, it's usually because they read a book by someone who argued for one of them, and they really liked it...so they say, "that's what I believe!"  This is of course a very unwise thing to do...we can't just take the opinion of one person whom we like and decide that we're going to believe the same thing.  This could cause us to believe all kinds of heresy.  Mr. Trach says that our decision should take us a very long time, and even when we do decide what we believe, we should hold to that belief in a humble way.  Not exalting ourselves above someone else who might interpret things differently...

I think the trouble comes when we zero in too much on one idea, and it becomes our "axe to grind."  For example, a Calvinist might zero in so much on God's sovereignty, that they forget that they still have a responsibility...the Great Commission still applies to them...they still must love and reach out to the lost and to their fellow brothers-in-Christ.  An Armenian can be so focussed on "doing a good job" that they forget that they can't do anything without God's help (the Armenian side is the one I especially need to study more).

We must view all of scripture, as a whole, and realize that many ideas must be balanced.  We can't so greatly emphasize one thing, that we forget so many of God's other commandments.  I think of Biblical Separation...this one has been so abused...churches separate from anyone and everyone, and they forget  the lost man dying on the street who needs someone to tell Him about Jesus.

Sorry, I'm rambling...ultimately, this all must be handled with humility, and seeking wisdom from God. He's our Lord...we need His help to do this.

Now, I would like to clarify something.  Should we humbly, and quietly just accept someone who denies the truth of the gospel, because "he just interprets the Bible differently"?  No way!  The Bible is very clear on the Gospel...if you look at the Pauline epistles, when someone rejects the gospel, Paul has strong words for them.  Look at Paul's reaction to Peter in Galatians 2.  The Gospel is something that should never be compromised.

Anywho...there's my rant...I hope it all made sense...

1 comment:

Valerie said...
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