Theological Musings

Some musings about theology and working with other denominations I had at lunch today…

I used to lead children on canoeing trips down a small river in America. There were times when an island could separate two canoes, but they would still be in the same river. If the canoes are the church and the River is the Gospel, then we can have small theological islands that temporary separate us. However, we are still all believing in the same Christ, participating in the same salvation, and taking part in the same Living Water. We are still in the same river.

A problem can be when we make a big deal out of the islands, dragging our canoes onto them and getting stuck – we can even lose touch with the One True Gospel – by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone (not in Luther, Calvin, Wesley, Arminius, Piper, McArthur, or whomever else).

This is one of the reasons why I’ve been so open (especially lately with Ukraine at war) to work with Pentecostals, Baptists, Charismatics, Lutherans, and others that proclaim the True Gospel. I don’t want to get stuck on, “Well, we don’t take communion like that,” or “Sorry, we don’t baptize like that,” resulting in the Gospel being LESS EFFECTIVE in this dire time. Those are islands, not the River.

The Gospel is what unifies us, pushing us along to a common destiny – with Christ in Heaven. Yes, it is important to know where you stand theologically – parts of the river may have rocks that, otherwise easily avoided by sticking to the Word as a compass, will smash a canoe and force its passengers to seek safety in another fellowship. Some of those whose churches have been smashed or sunk may choose to leave the River entirely, forsaking the Gospel. This is a tragedy that SHOULD be avoided. However, I’m responsible for my canoe – if I try too hard to dictate someone else’s course, I may miss my own rocks ahead of me.

It is also unwise to float down the river without a canoe, as is life without a church. You are MUCH more likely to get stuck on the bank, to drift into stagnant water, or to be crushed in the rapids if all you have is a life-vest. Find a strong church that is faithful to the Word as its guide and stay afloat.

Lastly, beware of other rivers that, though they claim to have the same Christ, lead not to His Havens, but to the great waterfalls of humanism, relativism, liberalism, religiosity, moralism (often connected with conservatism), or agnosticism – all of which lead to the end of those unfortunate enough to go there and fall to their deaths.

Anything y’all would add?

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