If you search around the internet blogging world enough, you’ll find opinions of every kind, and “religion” is at the top of the list. Within that subject a damaging division is spoken of regularly, but it’s nothing new. What is this division? It is the division between being a christian in appearance and jargon vs. being a christian with just your lifestyle. In fact, in many contemporary churches today you can see videos and dramas that disparage the christian that totes around theology books, wear bumper stickers on their cars and dress themselves in basic “bookworm” attire. Now, I am no fan of bumper stickers, and I hope that my dress is simply “normal” and modest. Also, I agree in principle with the greater point of needing to focus on our lives making a difference. However, I very much am opposed to, and regularly battle, the tendency of the church (western contemporary church in particular) to say that you really cannot be a well-thought-out believer and well-lived-out believer at the same time. The historical statement is “(He is) so heavenly minded that he is no earthly good.” Again, I understand the sentiment, but scripture has charged that we be of sound doctrine and practice.
2 Timothy 3 is all about this unnecessary dichotomy. We don’t want to have the “form of godliness” but without its real power and the answer is the word of God (vv.16-17). I refuse to give in to this lie in the church today that we cannot be Christians of head AND heart. That our brains and our hands are engaged. That we realize that our good and sound doctrine makes us realize that our evaluation of genuine conversion by Christ alone at the end judgment will be evidenced by fruit (“serving the least of these” – Matt. 24,25), not a mere adherence to facts.
Honestly, this is my daily battle. I love theology and doctrine. I have failed at being prideful with these things, with pride being best expressed anytime I sin. Paul charged us to live what we’ve already attained (Phil.3:16), but just prior in that same chapter he charges us to always “press on.”
Our striving is always to learn more and practice more for the glory of God through Jesus Christ. As a local church (UBC), let us hold one another accountable and pray for one another to destroy this “division” in the church by being a people who humbly love the whole counsel of God’s Word and its doctrine, while loving to put into practice the power of the Word of God as we obey in our lifestyle, obey in our speech…and may it begin in our homes.