Friday, February 11

If You Belong To My Jesus, Then You Belong With Me

I swiped that title from the old signature line of a friend who loved nothing more than arguing theology on a certain discussion board. Although he was very firm in what he believed and highly valued the truth, he wanted it known that agreeing with him on all the issues wasn't necessary to be included in his group. It was enough for him that you belonged to the same Lord he did.

Belonging to Christ is not a matter of having all of our theological ducks lined up. Thank goodness it isn't, or none of us would be included. There are undoubtedly boundaries for our ducks, and there are a few of our ducks that need to toe the line or we are not in the group at all. Some of those crucial ducks are noted for us in scripture. John tells us, for instance, that anyone who does not confess that Jesus is the Christ is not from God. We know with certainty where someone's theological duck needs to be on that issue if they are to be included with us. Many of our debates, however, are in-house debates.

Of course, just because something's an in-house debate doesn't mean it's not important. If we value the truth, then we value even the small details of the truth, and discussions over the correct understanding of something that's laid out for us in scripture is never just niggling. If you've done very much debating over doctrine, you understand how often the devil really is in the details. Big doors turn on small hinges.

I hope you'll remember, should you ever find me arguing strongly against a doctrine you adhere to, that I also firmly believe that "if you belong to my Jesus, then you belong with me." I just like messing with with your ducks.