Sometimes I marvel at how someone who seems to be so grounded in the truth can affirm seemingly contradictory beliefs.
In one breath they are trumpeting that “God is Love!” and in the next portraying a very different, harsh picture of God, which they then go about trying to justify. I have observed this kind of short-sighted christianity so many times and wondered how it is even possible…
One night last week I was reading a book just before dozing off to sleep; it was focussed on growing businesses and increasing process automation (not the place you would expect to find spiritual truth), when I came across a quote that brought an explosion of clarity!
The man who grasps principles can successfully handle his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
It struck me for the first time that this “Short-sighted Christianity” is only possible because the adherent is stockpiling individual doctrines (methods) which sound convincing when looked at in isolation and attempting to force them to co-habitate without understanding the overarching narrative (principles).
Let me wrap some controversial language around that…
“The man who understands the narrative can safely select his own doctrines. The man who stockpiles doctrines, ignoring the narrative is sure to have trouble.”
I know that may sound scary, even heretical to some, but it is true. If we understand the character of God and the true nature of the Great Controversy narrative that is being played out all around us every day, we will be able to detect the doctrines that do not fit with the clearly revealed character of God (total, selfless love).
This is the only way to reliably weed out errors in our own theology and ensure we are not believing satan’s lies. So my call to you is this…
Firstly, become acquainted with the underlying narrative principles of scripture that are founded in the truth, God is love (Note that these principles must never contradict each other and you must take the entire Bible as your source material).
Secondly, throw out every belief you have that does not conform to these principles.
Does that sound drastic?
But it is the gateway to having a consistent, biblical and life-transforming theology. Only when we let go of our false (sometimes even dark age) philosophies can God shine new and beautiful light into our lives.