As I prepare myself in this Advent season for Christ’s coming into this world, I am well reminded of the changes that have been made with me through sanctification. One is a refining of my pride—it’s not gone, but it’s certainly diminished.
I often run into fellow believers who seem ready to defend their perception of God’s Truth to their dying breath. While we are certainly called to defend truth and to root out false teachers, it’s also important for us to understand that we do, in fact, gaze into an imperfect mirror. We don’t see fully—we cannot fully glimpse the truth of God. [One might argue that we cannot possibly grasp it. I’m not likely to disagree.]
Because of this, I often find myself feeling my way along in the dark. My theological positions shift as my understanding of God’s Truth grows clearer. [At one point, I was credobaptistic, but then I came to the paedobaptistic view.] And while I’m sure some are gazing upon that last sentence with eyes red with frustration, I assure you of this: I’m still figuring it out, and I’ll be figuring it out more the day I die. If you’re that frustrated at my words, the next few paragraphs might be painful to read.
Those who vigorously defend truth without acknowledging their own growth and change are running the risk of not allowing our fellow believers to be imperfect. While we should refine each other, that all too often becomes an exercise in grenade-lobbing and claiming to be on God’s side. While we should all strive to be on God’s side, I find that such exercises often end up being more that God is on our side because I Am Right and You Are Wrong. Frankly, I’m a believer that we’re all wrong, because, again … none of us is going to fully engage and grasp God’s truth.
This all sounds morally relativistic, no? It can be, if you don’t always make sure to return to the Cross. If you return to the Cross and say, “I have no righteousness of my own that is salvific; all the salvific righteousness that I have is from Christ,” you then form the basis for throwing out a large number of the false teachers [the likes of Koresh, et al]. From there, I think you have to muddle through, and to tread quite lightly when using loaded scriptural terms like “anathema” and “heresy“.