Old School vs New School
I've had this on my mind a few days and want to try and get it down on paper.
I have been spending a lot of time lately thinking about the emphasis of what you believe vs the emphasis of what you do. My generation was taught that the most important thing was doctrine...........what you BELIEVE. The Bible teaches a lot of things, and you had better be in compliance with all those teachings. And there is no wiggle room on most, if not all, those doctrines. What kind of disciples did it produce? It for sure produced a bunch of scholars. It also produced a lot of people who could quote the Bible. But, it also produced a bunch of failures in one sense because a lot of folks in my generation dropped out after they discovered it was impossible to be perfect. By the grace of God I see a lot of them coming back to the Lord........and attending other fellowships. No way they are going back to what they ran from 20 years ago. It produced people with very sectarian mind-sets. It also produced very shallow Christians who had little, if any, discipleship. It produced folks that knew what they believed, but treated their waitress at the restaurant like crap on Sunday after church. It produced folks who taught Sunday school class and then acted like hellions at athletic events later in the week. It produced Shepherds who pull support from missionaries that are saving lost souls, because they differ on ONE belief about an "item of worship". Living consistent with the way of the cross was not all that important.......it all came down to what you believe.
Now comes along this next generation, and for them, it seems to be all about what you are DOING. What you believe is really not that important, because after all, the fruit of your beliefs is what will be seen in your day to day walk. WHO you are is a lot more important that WHAT you believe. What kind of disciple is this new mind-set producing? It for sure is producing a lot of people who are willing to be servants.......24/7. It is producing people who are very welcoming of others with different beliefs, because remember after all, what you believe is not a priority. This is a very giving bunch of folks..... giving of time, money and talents. It also has produced some who say a Hindu, Buddhist, or Muslim who lives a life of service is just as saved as a Christian. They ask "How can a good person not be saved?" For a lot of these folks, Christ is not the only way to Heaven. "Whatever" is the catch all answer for any question. Whatever will get you to heaven, as long as you are doing good.
So which is it? Which group has it "right"? You are way ahead of me, aren't you? :) I don't think either group has the answer. I believe the New Testament has examples of each group. The Pharisees for sure thought WHAT you believed was of first importance. You know how Jesus felt about those folks. He despised them. On the other hand, there were those in the NT who didn't believe Jesus was the only way to heaven.......the Savior of man. I guess you remember how they were regarded also. False teachers. Paul despised them.
I wonder what would happen if our emphasis was what Christ taught and lived......that you LOVE God, and LOVE your neighbor. If we loved God, doesn't it follow that we would believe the things He wants us to believe? If we love our neighbor, wouldn't that reguire ACTION and DOING? Debate over.
Some may ask, "well, don't you believe in doctrines?" Yes, as long as they fit under the umbrella of loving God first. Others will ask, "well, do you believe in BEING light and salt.....after all, that's the name of your blog?" Yes, as long as it fits under the umbrella of loving God thru Christ......and loving my neighbor.
It's all about Love. Can we EVER get that? Love for God thru Christ, and loving others. It ain't that hard to understand, but evidently really hard to live!
Matt got me and him St. Louis Cardinal tickets for tomorrow night for my Father's Day present! AWESOME! I will be in high cotton!
I may not post again for a while..........going on vacation next week to be with my boys and brother in Memphis and my folks in Alabama. I hope ALL of you have a WONDERFUL 4th. May God continue to bless our country, and all the countries of the world!