This is an “It’s not you…it’s me” situation.
I grew up in your average charismatic, evangelical, practical church with lots and lots of topical preaching. I don’t remember learning a lot. So when I got to an age where I actually started valuing my brain and that little book called the Bible, I realized that something was wrong with my church experience.
I’ll never forget being about 19 years old and picking up my Bible to read it. It was very very confusing. There were these four books in a row that said basically the same things. What was the point of having four books that said the same stuff? I quickly put the Bible down, and had a rather disturbing thought “my church has failed me”. I should have known how to read my Bible.
This would begin a long journey toward all things Truth related. I wanted lines in the sand, not airy fairy feeling based stuff. I read hard words in the Bible and I felt conviction for the first time in my life. And although it felt awful, it brought me to my knee’s and therefore closer to God.
I was finally experiencing the Christian walk.
I was learning. And it felt good.
Without even knowing it at first I realized that the radio preachers, authors, and bloggers I was gleaning from were all reformed, Calvinist ministers. I was drawn to them like a moth to a flame. They taught me doctrine. I finally had the lines I wanted, and better yet it all came from Scripture.
As my understanding grew, so did my ego.
I felt a pride, not in God’s grace, but in myself.
What a wrong turn. I quickly forgot that knowledge puff’s up, but love builds up.
Over the last couple of years or so I have been trying to turn the ship. Not away from doctrine or truth. But away from titles, from ego-building banter. I desire to walk the Christian walk as Christ did, which would result in living in truth and love.
I don’t want to be lumped into any pendulum swing. I just want to live according to Scripture. I want to move with the Spirit. I believe there is a time for lines in the sand and there is a time to see past the lines.
I don’t want to minister to people in a way that a book with statistic’s about the culture tells me I should minister. I want to read those books, glean from their wisdom, but then minister out of my love and relationship with those people.
Does that make sense?
Before you panic over the state of my soul, let me clarify that I am not going to throw the baby out with the bath water. Do not misunderstand me, I still very much associate myself with the “reformed” crowd (hence my blogroll). I love and appreciate them immensely. I am just throwing out the pride that can tend to come along with it. I have seen what it has done to people and I have seen what it has done to church’s.
I will not uphold doctrine to the neglect of relationship’s with people. I will not play favorites, because this person is a Calvinist and that person is a silly Arminian. I will not think myself high and mighty because I have done extensive studies on complimentarionism and you clearly have not. *insert eye roll*
So I am taking a break.
Not from reading or learning. But from that point of view.
I look forward to reading just the Bible. I look forward to letting the Spirit eluminate. I just need a break. And I encourage you to do the same.
Lord, let your love fill me…
“And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.” ~ 1 Corinthians 13:2