I’m scared. Scared to put myself out there. Scared to put into words and have others consider the thoughts that make me wonder if I’m a heretic. Scared that no one will read what I have to say, and even more scared that they will. I’m going to question a lot of thinking that we consider core to Christianity, and I’m scared (most of all) to lead others astray. I’m scared that I will probably do everything poorly because I’m not an experienced writer, I’ve never been to seminary, took only one Bible class in all of college, disengaged from church for almost a decade and haven’t even published a blog post in over a decade.
But I have to do this.
I’ve been debating for sometime what my first post should be. A statement of intent? My testimony? Should I talk about that moment that God made me realize I needed to do this?
But I’ve decided not to try to convince you of anything. I’m going to let my guard down here and be vulnerable. I am a human being; one that Jesus loves terribly and has chased down despite all my running. This is the only thing that truly matters.
If it doesn’t make you love Jesus more…
At the heart of what I must write is my own heart.
I tried the other way first. I tried following the most logical doctrine and biblically sound church I could find. But my heart always knew there was a disconnect. Despite all the “correctness” I wasn’t being set free like Jesus had promised. As our Prince said, “There is a way that seems right to a man, and it leads to death.” I finally know what he meant.
When forming our theology, we have to choose the light under which we will shine all things. We do this whether it’s conscious or not. After much searching I have come to believe that the only measure for sound theology is if it makes us love Jesus more. Anything else puts us in danger of finding our identity elsewhere, which in turn leads to destruction.
Disagree? Agree that God can handle it.
My hope is that what I write strikes up conversation within the church, but I hope to avoid division. This does not mean that there isn’t a place for differing opinions and strong words, but just because we get pissed at each other doesn’t mean we don’t have to accept each other as family.
This may mean that our conflicting theologies have to co-exist, but the good news is that our God is big enough to handle it. When James and Paul settled the dispute over circumcision (a far more divisive topic than any we have faced), the agreement was that for some circumcision was appropriate and for others it was not. God was glorified in both, and no one’s heart was withheld from Jesus over a matter of theology.
The simple truth is that no one’s theology is perfect. No matter how correct you or I are we all still see through a glass dimly. So we must free ourselves of the bonds of rightness and instead struggle towards righteousness, not as timid beings terrified of His wrath but as those fully justified as the sons and daughters of the most powerful King in all the lands.
I’m not a heretic, just beloved.
I want to write these things because I love Jesus and because I’m learning to love the church again. Because my heart matters, and there are many other hearts like mine (both in and out of the church) that aren’t being spoken to. Because I believe that this is the work that has been prepared for me.
If what I say doesn’t do this—if any of what I say pulls you further from Jesus—then run away from my words and draw to him. I beg you! Nothing is more important than the truth that Jesus loves you terribly.
So with this post I begin to submit my broken theology. Fully intent on drawing nearer to Jesus, edifying the body, establishing footholds for the kingdom in our broken world, and setting captives free.