He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? ~ Micah 6:8
It continues to fascinate ~ & sometimes apall me ~ how diverse this thing we call Christianity is. Surely we cannot all be right...& if we cannot all be right then some of us must be wrong ~ & that opens a whole 'nother can of worms!
I have been reading here...& here ~ sober, thoughtful, Quaker posts that are not afraid to tackle the difficult questions & wrestle with them in prayer & discussion to a reasoned & prayerful conclusion. Which is more than I can do. It's not that I can't follow the arguments. It's not a question of what I personally believe or actually endorse or even where I am in my own walk. It's not even that I don't see the point because actually I do. Having the truth is important but...here we go! Again. It's not the most important thing! And because it's not the most important thing I actually think it's a lot of wasted hot air.
See I happen to think, my thinks, that it all rather misses the point because thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. [Deut.6.5] It is all about relationship. This was all rather drummed into my thick skull by a wonderful little book The Lord Our Shepherd by J. Douglas Macmillan. Macmillan was a Scots shepherd before he came to Christ & his insights on Psalm 23 are fascinating but what I concluded was profound was his comments that go something like this: if you do not know the shepherd of the pslam, if Christ is not your shepherd, then this pslam has nothing to say to you & you cannot claim its promises because the personal pronoun is possessive: my shepherd. It's like talking about my husband or my children. It speaks of an existing relationship.
Now the thing with relationships is they tend to be messy. Messy is ok. Really it is. King David screwed up big time & by biblical account he was a most apalling father but God still calls him a man after His own heart! I used to look at that & think, huh?! This adulterer, this murderer, this crummy father. Yep ~ he was all of that & then some but he had this most amazing relationship & it transcended everything else that he was. No, I am not advocating a wayward lifestyle. What I am saying is we need to grasp our nettles & sort out the important things. There is no point in being right in our theology if we are wrong in our relationship. Our theology cannot save us. Only our relationship with Christ can save us ~ & because that is so I tend to think we can be wrong in matters of faith & still be saved. First things first. Do you have a relationship with this Jesus they called the Christ? Because if you do all else will fall in to place. How do I know? When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you. John 16:12~15 & I can trust the Spirit because Christ also said My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; John 10:2
Now I can hear the theological hounds baying for my blood but you can argue theology till the cows come home & the world ends not with a bang but a whimper & it will make absolutely no difference to anyone. But, if you love God you will ask, what does God require of me? And that changes everything. The only requirement is love; love of God, love of one's fellow man. The bible is all about how we then go about loving God & loving our neighbour as ourselves.
No, this is not what God's been on me about. I'm merely entertaining myself ~ & I don't mind if you disagree with me. You are entitled & I am open to whatever is said so long as it is said in love & with respect for differing opinions. Floor's all yours.