Of course, none of us are very comfortable with such, whether it is a call of change with our words and actions, or our theological beliefs. But if we are following Christ, we are on a path of change for the rest of our lives.
The biggest pointer that gives me hope in our call to change is that we have already entered into a great and transformative change – becoming new creations in Christ. A metamorphosis took place! I mean a HUGE change has already occurred. The Bible speaks pretty clearly on this – new hearts, new spirits, new creations, etc.
And so, over the years and decades that we walk with Christ, we can only expect the call to continue. If we don’t like that, then we have decided to follow the wrong person.
One area of change that has come to my life over my 14 and a half years in Christ is that of being less dogmatic. While some might tighten their grip on their theology, I have found that I have become less and less dogmatic on many points and positions. Not that I don’t hold a theological perspective on varying issues. I do. But I am a lot less dogmatic, which means I am willing to admit I might not have it all together and have it all right.
I think it also means, at least for me, that I am not so pushy in the hopes of making people accept certain beliefs that I hold (as if we can make or force such). I am much more willing to give people space to think through, study through and pray through their positions.
And this has brought freedom to my life in Christ.
Oh, the great monster of control still rears its head – both with theological perspectives and with practical life realities. I have inherited that through my specific line of Adam. But I am finding that control and dogmatism mainly leads to death rather than life. And I am longing to see this put to death more and more. A part of the change Jesus is calling me to.
Again, please don’t think I am saying we should chuck theology out the window, get rid of doctrine, and never have any perspective on such issues. That is not what I am saying at all. Rather, I have simply recognised in my life that one change that has needed to come over and over is that of being less dogmatic. And it has brought blessing into both my life and the lives of others with whom I interact.
I don’t believe this is simply some ploy of post-modern times. It is the reality of every Christian in every generation in every culture. So whether we live in the west or the developing east and south, whether we lived in medieval or modern or post-modern times, our call is to change. And this will remain our call to the final restoration of all things, the completion of the new heaven and earth.
Again, do I believe it is a worthy undertaking to study Scripture and theology? Absolutely yes! I do it just about everyday in some form or fashion. I want to be sharpened, whether it be with something more easy to swallow, or something a little more not-so-easy. I want to discuss soteriology, eschatology, pneumatology, Christology, bibliology, and much more. I normally want to discuss it more than the average human. But I now try and approach these discussions with much more graciousness, much more humility, much more willingness to learn from others.
Am I fully there? No. That will not take place until the final change I spoke of earlier. But I have changed. And I will continue to change.
And I can only expect exciting things for our lives and our theological perspectives as we remain in this place. I can only hope we all are willing to be in this place.