Simplify: Real Life Doctrine

To preachers and teachers of the Word:

The real world can simplify things quickly. Read the news lately. When bills are stacked high and rent is due or a patient codes or you’re under enemy fire or you have a ten second interview with the press, you do not throw CORRECT DOCTRINE on top of this to make sure you’re doing it right. A full-time working, full-time schooling, middle-aged divorcee does not also throw “church and QT and small group and outreach” on top of an already busy schedule.

That’s how most everyday people see the religion-thing: like one more task on top of the tedious humdrum of life. They forget when life gets exhausting, we have a Gracious Rest instead of a spiritual parole officer. People are leaving the church because they see the pathetic bickering over secondary garbage. They need less of us and more of Him.

Intimacy with Jesus must come first, and from such a wellspring is where all life flows. If you’re throwing REAL-GOSPEL-YOU-GUYS on top of work instead of allowing work to flow from the Gospel, you’ve hit Pharisee-land. Jesus was trying to save them, too.

We live in the real world. I do not – would never – call for a simplistic gospel to replace rich theology. But we religious elitists are too quick to accuse people of just that. We miss the point. And the point is not a perfect, hair-splitting, detailed contract of theological dogma.

You would say, “Of course Jesus is the point” — but most of us wouldn’t dare to stop there. We feel a need to add to Jesus, as if he needs dressing.

Do you think Jesus was a Calvinist? Arminian? Republican? A blogger?

Our specific-sliced doctrine does not have a flag in the warzone. An army friend of mine who served two years in a heated Iraq: double election and TULIP did not get him through the explosions and fellow injured soldiers. If it helps you glorify God and if it comforts you, great. If not, please get over it.

On the frontlines, no doctor or athlete or janitor or convicted killer geeks out over predestination and dispensationalism. They look at your hands and your heart, not at your blog or dogma. No matter how much you convince yourself that deeper doctrine brightens the Sunday people, the fine print hardly works in the grimy filth of the everyday world.

If you’re dead honest with yourself, it doesn’t work for you, either.

Love you guys. Keep it real.

2 thoughts on “Simplify: Real Life Doctrine

  1. Jesus says in Luke 6:45, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.”

    I agree that religion –in the sense of obeying the teachings of Jesus– should never be an “on top of” thing; it should be the foundation I stand on, that good treasure hidden in my heart that comes forth as needed. I don’t need to work at keeping my heart pumping my blood.

    Not being a theological scholar myself, I feel that with the Holy Spirit directing me, I can let Him worry about keeping me in “correct doctrines”; I just need to do what He’s shows me, step by step. God has made it so simple for us! (We only start thrashing around when we don’t WANT to obey the Spirit’s direction.)


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