Archive for April, 2010

Orthodoxy Overrated

For so many years, I thought that the more correct your theology is, the better you are. I used to think that teaching was the most important thing to go for and I always went to churches I thought had the best and most dynamic teaching.

But I learned something. And I got over it. Here is what I learned.

You can fill your time and your head with all the teaching you can find. You can gather mp3s from the best of the best. You can build a tremendous and complex system of beliefs, but it will not help you.

Your theology must lead to action. When all is said and done, your statement of faith is your life.

The writer of the letter of Hebrews, at one, point was chastising his readers at one point. He told them that they should be well aware of what he is trying to say, but they were immature. He said that the were constantly re-learning the basics and not moving on. He called them infants, needing milk and unable to take solid food. then he said something remarkable:

Heb 5:14  But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.  ESV

I had it so wrong for so long! Mature Christ followers become mature by constant practice of what they have learned. Their powers of discernment are developed by constant practice. Once they are clear on “good and evil,” they know what to do.

Going to the right church or hearing the best teaching or having the right list of “beliefs.” won’t help us. We study, not to form a system of beliefs, but to know Christ and transform ourselves. And in transforming ourselves we help reconcile the world. This is the process of discipleship.

Discipleship is where “orthodoxy” (correct belief) ignites and fuels “orthopraxy” (correct actions). Without this, orthodoxy becomes toxic, or a religious bludgeon to beat each other over the head with.

The key to this is imitation:

Eph 5:1  Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.

I urge you to consider this and please comment.