WHAT YOU DO
WHAT YOU BELIEVE
The collection of writings known as the Bible is God’s revelation to mankind. There is no other. It is inspired and is trustworthy for all things pertaining to faith. They reveal the Person called Jesus and they clearly lay out a path to eternal life which comes only by faith in Jesus the Christ.
But as is the custom of man and his quest to feel important and feel as though he is God’s right hand man, there is a clique which not only claims that the Scriptures are inerrant in the original manuscripts, but they even spend millions to have conferences where they plant their flag in the ground together.
Books are sold, CDs are made of the speakers and sold, and generally they revel in their own doctrine. If you are a part of that group then you get all excited about standing for truth, and if you are not a part of that group you wonder what in the world is going on. They quote a long line of men who have been gone for centuries and suggest that they themselves are carrying on their battle. But in the end all they are doing is defending their doctrines. And in the very end what you do is what you believe. Everything else is a ministry to the doctrinal flesh. I have written about such things here.
I refer you to one of these conferences. Watch the video here.
This is a very fine line and must be understood as such. It is easy to defend doctrines, but it most difficult to live like Jesus. There is a vast gulf between the two. When you are an unwavering soldier of inerrancy then you believe you are engaged in a spiritual war. You are God’s standard bearer and in your mind you are doing His work. So you call expensive conferences where those who already believe what you believe can revel in the atmosphere of like minded doctrinal companions. It reinforces your position as well as reinforces the doctrinal celebrity status of the speakers. They are seen as the modern day oracles of God.
These kinds of conferences are considered the bastions of orthodoxy and yet they are structured just like the liberal wings they detest. It is alluring and enticing, but it is mostly of the flesh. These kinds of people have God’s approved music, God’s approved doctrine, God’s approved service structure, God’s approved attire, God’s approved Bible translations, and God’s approved Scriptural interpretation. They can identify and unpack compromises within other church groups but feel that they themselves stand upon God’s Word and are only imperfect as is common to man. The hubris is palpable.
Is that the essence of Christianity? Is Christianity a set of doctrines which must be defended or is it a faith built upon truth but which seeks to think and act like Jesus? And is acting like Jesus completing an orthodox doctrinal test? Truths are very important, but truth is not just what is written in our doctrinal statements. The truth IS Jesus and those who desire to embrace truth must follow Him in heart and life. How many believers place their head on a pillow at night content with the knowledge that they are doctrinally orthodox but completely unaware that many people who do not have all the doctrinal badges they profess manifest the Spirit and the Person of Jesus in ways some of those “orthodox” people do not? Think about what I just wrote.
This all boils down to just what is the faith that is built upon Christ? Does humility have any place in a faith and life that follows Jesus? Little by little self righteousness has been given a new and acceptable moniker named “boldness”. So men and women who hold their specific doctrines as divine as Joseph Smith’s tablets gather and stroke one another. This is a carnal spectacle even while claiming to be the zenith of orthodoxy. And when we hold our doctrines higher than our lives then we have entered into idolatry regardless of how true and Biblical they may be. In the end what you do and live is what you believe. And if you read the gospel narrative of the life of Jesus it is much more than articulating what He did and who He was. It requires your very life.
And since that is a colossal challenge that requires a profound level of self denial it is much easier to hold a conference and proclaim yourself a champion of God’s Word simply because your theology is orthodox. Loudly proclaiming the Scriptures are inerrant is light years from having your life reflect those same Scriptures in tangible and observable ways which authenticate your theology without books and tapes and Cds and conferences. So while you castigate the unbridled and emotional atmosphere of a charismatic gathering you create the same atmosphere without many of the observable signs. But make no mistake, the same spiritual hubris exists in both gatherings.
In the end do people see Jesus in you or do they see an orthodox theology about Jesus?