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Thursday
Oct122017

Reckless Theology and Ideology

Theology: the study of the nature of God and religious belief.

Ideology: here is the list of things that define ideology from the dictionary: beliefs, ideas, ideals, principles, ethics, morals; doctrine, creed, credo, faith, teaching, 
theology, philosophy; tenets, canon(s); conviction(s), persuasion; informalism.

As Christians we are in a battle every day against the secular ideology that dismisses godly principles and promotes a lifestyle where human expression is the highest order of living. That human expression can take the shape of any kind of immoral attributes and nothing is off limits. Many Christians are silent about many controversial issues because they have been taught to turn the other cheek. This turning of the other cheek does not mean we don’t stand up for godly principles that are under attack today. Turning the other cheek means we don’t react in ways that would harm others, or cause us to degrade others in the same manner they may degrade us.  However, our job is to be the voice - the body and the mind of Christ - in our world. I often use the examples of Matthew 23 where Jesus was very poignant about the Pharisees and their teaching. He used very strong language to identify their positions on issues and was not afraid to call them out. Then there was the incident of over turning tables in the temple because they were misusing the sacrificial system in order to make money from this religious observance.  In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus was very clear about the issues of His day and addressed them directly. He never was shy about what He believed – he was very vocal about it! Jesus did not let the religious or the cultural ideology stand in the way of teaching the truth of God’s Word.

When Jesus was about to leave His disciples and follow His path to the cross, he spoke to His disciples about the Holy Spirit and His role in the life of believers.

“But now I am going away to the one who sent me, and not one of you is asking where I am going. Instead, you grieve because of what I’ve told you. But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment.”

                                                                                                              -John 16:5-8

Some versions will use the term counselor instead of advocate as it describes His role among us. Jesus knew that humans like to invent their own theology, and practice their own ideology because the human heart is in rebellion against God.  The role of the Holy Spirit is to teach us the heart of God’s kingdom where there is only one foundation upon which to build your life. His advocacy begins by convicting us of sinfulness. He reminds us that our ideology and theology apart from Jesus is simply pious, self-serving, and humanistic at its core. As good as we may believe our belief structure may be, the Holy Spirit reminds us of the sinfulness of the human heart which refuses to surrender completely to God.

Once the Holy Spirit convicts us of sinfulness, He brings us the solution in the message of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the righteousness of God and He is the only one who can forgive and remove sin from our lives. The Holy Spirit doesn’t support any theology or ideology that doesn’t begin and end with Jesus Christ. Many people use Jesus like a lucky rabbit’s foot, He is good to have in the mix of theology or have a part in the ideology of the day, but like the first commandment says: "Thou shalt have no other gods before me" 

That means our theology or ideology cannot become an idol in our practice or our beliefs.

Lastly, He begins to remind us of the day of reckoning. The Day of Judgment is when we will interact with God to hear His assessment of how we lived our lives. For some it will be pleasant, while for others it will be the worst day of their lives. Have you ever wondered why we don’t hear about judgment, repentance, and sinful living? It is because we have shut out the Holy Spirit from working in our lives. When eternity is thrust into your face at the point of death, we had better be prepared to face either heaven or hell, because these are the only two choices in life after death. The Holy Spirit today is trying to prepare us for that day.

Okay so lets come back to the recklessness of our theology and ideology for a moment. Many theologies today have a stand-alone premise that makes them unique in Bible teaching. They pick a theme and then go to the Bible to try to find a verse or two that may be used to support their thinking. Cults have done this for years, but so do some evangelicals who hold to prosperity, dominion, and replacement theologies. Even people who believe in cessationism (some gifts of the Holy Spirit have been removed) are guilty of fitting a theological theory into scripture. People who have reckless thinking as they teach their version of Biblical truth have created most of the fracturing and separation in our churches.

Beware of theology and ideology that is reckless.

Keeping it honest and truthful…K

 

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