When Theological Rubber Meets a Very Real Road…
Hopefully this makes sense… if some of you get lost, my apologies in advance.
Theology and doctrine are a very interesting mental exercise. I think one of the big problems of this mental exercise is that it is very easy to get overly philosophical and forget that there is a real world on the outside of our little study couches. Is all doctrine and theological study wrong or foolish? Not at all… but without hard and clear guidlines, it can be a relatively dangerous exercise.
I have heard many people say “don’t be so heavenly minded that you are no earthly good”… I find it ironic that many of the people I have seen who have made this statement are so focused on being “earthly good” that they are actually no “spiritual good” and have a much worse problem then the one they were trying to avoid. The real axis of this statement is that if you are truly heavenly minded, you will be the most earthly good you could possibly be. What does it mean to be “heavenly minded”? Love the Lord with all you have, and love your neighbor as yourself. The problem is that there are those people who think they are being heavenly minded, who spin tales of theology and “unique revelations” that not only insulate them from the outside world (whereas true theology and revelation launch you out into it), but push them from the narrow path to a rut on the side of the road. Call it getting pigeonholed if you like, but the reality is that unless you theology translates into the “real world” outside of your house, it isn’t much good. Replacement Theology should get axed for the simple fact that there is currently a Revival in Israel. Cessationism should get canned because Heidi Baker and her crew are out raising the dead in Mozambique, while Patricia King is prophesying and healing people on the streets of Kelowna, BC, Canada.
The really interesting bit is that if your theological tires meet the road and you find out they are flat, instead of blaming the road… CHANGE THE TIRES! I find it very telling that nobody wants to change their opinion… ever. While we could “blame” many factors, I think the own-ness for this rests soley on the disillusionment and spiritual boredom to be found in many of our churches. A Messianic speaker I heard recently (Asher Intrater, for those who may wonder) said it this way… “By saying that you are raptured prior to the book of Revelation, you put a wall in front of you. By saying the Jews were replaced by the church back then, you put a wall behind you at Pentecost. And by saying that the signs and wonders of the book of Acts are finished, you put a ceiling over your head. Break the box.” To put it differently, I give way to Christian rapper John Reuban… “The Pioneers have settled in, a perfect blend of progess and pale skin.” Now, John was being sarcastic, and Asher was being deadly serious… but both are making the same point. The theology being swallowed by the masses in the American Church has got us sitting on four flat tires on the side of the road, and quite content to be there. Its time for a re-evaluation… let’s figure out what tires will run on the road, fix the car, and lets get moving again.