When We Don’t See Eye-to-Eye Theologically

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The Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone. 2 Tim. 2:24

For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. Gal. 5:14-15 (NIV)

For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 1 Cor. 13:9-10 (ESV)

Heavenly Father, there are many reasons I’m looking forward to life in the new heaven and new earth. Though it doesn’t top my list, the perfect unity of your forever-family is way up there. It must grieve you when we build walls, draw lines, and throw theological grenades at one another.

Robust theological dialogue is one thing, mean-spirited diatribe is quite another. Defending the gospel is a major calling; being belligerent about our understanding of the Bible, your Spirit’s work, and the Christian life is not.

Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy. On most Sundays, the color of our skin, preferred worship styles, and the nuances of our theological tribes separate us. How can this be okay?

We long for the Day when we will no longer know in part or love in part. The Day when we will no longer label, dismiss, or marginalize one another because we don’t cross every theological “t” the same way.

Father have mercy on me. Forgive me when I’m concerned about rightness to the exception of kindness. Forgive me for preening about my own theological tribe in club-like, childish ways. Forgive me for defending a theology of grace in ungracious ways.

Forgive me for ever justifying the attitude: “I get the gospel much better than they do.” Teach me more about Jesus, the gospel, and your kingdom through those who are different from me. Give me a bigger heart and more humility, Father. So very Amen I pray, in Jesus’ tender and triumphant name.

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