Thursday, August 13, 2009

Spiritual Ignorance and Arrogance

If you are anything like me, you have probably moved through various Christian "incarnations" during your lifetime. I was raised Roman Catholic, became an evangelical and went to a Presbyterian church while at University, then became a Baptist (CBA), then a refomed Congregational church member, then nothing, then a Confessional Evangelical (read: Lutheran). It has been a difficult process, and the driving force behind these transitions has been whether or not I'm saved.

Although a lot of this struggle sucked, it was worth it. All of the introspection, frustration, depression, and even despair fueled my need to have a "hope and a future". Fortunately, I ran into Martin Luther who had deeper and more introspective struggles. His book, "The Bondage of the Will", even in English translation 500 years later, comforted and assured me of God's favor toward me because his Son was brutally crucified on a cross for me.

Now, when I encounter people who have never stepped foot out of their Christian background because they are afraid or stubborn, I no longer wonder why they are they way they are. I realize they are arrogant. This arrogance leads naturally to ignorance, because they are unwilling to look at any other Christian tradition to learn and grow from.

My greatest hope for those of you who read this blog is that you experience the Grace and comfort that Jesus has given me. Secondarily, though, I hope you will also be willing to engage with other Christian traditions for your growth and understanding. Even if you don't go from one entirely different denomination to another, as I did, you can gain so much just from entering into a conversation with people of other denominations.

A final word on this matter. I used to be very defensive when it came to my faith. This was a sign that my faith was not founded on rock, but on sand. God is more than capable of defending himself, and if you are engaging a person from a different church tradition (or lack thereof) than yours, that person is probably not out to wreck your faith. Even in argument, ask what you can learn from the other person. The Christian faith can handle disagreement. God can handle disagreement. If your faith is dismantled easily, it might be time to allow that dismantling to happen and trust that God will resurrect your faith in the end. He is, after all, in the business of resurrection!



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