It’s Getting Awfully Crowded in Purgatory…
I’ve had to ask myself a question recently that I didn’t care to answer… which is more important to me, 100% pure and sound doctrine, or a vibrant and alive spiritual life with a few quirks? I didn’t want to ask this question, and I desired even less to answer it. To be proper and all, I didn’t suddenly ask myself this question instead of doing something productive (IE, being at work). Rather, I had to ask myself this question because of a conversation I was having with someone on the internet (as usual).
I was on my regular haunt (the message boards I use) and someone had started a thread about John Hagee’s new book that he is selling. Now, I’m not a fan of the man personally… or even doctrinally for that matter. Hagee leans a heavily towards the dispensational side of doctrine and has just written a book about Jesus and Israel called “What have the Jews missed?” In the 60 second sound byte Hagee makes the assertion that he will prove that Jesus did not come to be the Messiah of Israel. Now, the idea that Jesus did not come to be the PHYSICAL saviour of the nation of Israel is actually quite true. Hagee has a very unfortunate way of saying it in a single sentance, but the idea is actually true to a certain degree. However, for his poor choice of words, there were a large number of people decrying him as a heretic. Me being me, I felt a need to restate Hagee’s actual position and attempt to clarify that this is just dispensationalism at it’s finest. Because I didn’t jump on the “bash-Hagee” bandwagon, I recieved some rather agressive attention from my fellow members. Add to this the heat I was already getting because I refused to denouce all Word of Faith preachers as heretics, charlatans, and wolves in sheep’s clothing… and my meekness kind of disappeared.
Finally, after taking much judgement and stern questioning, I finally had to say something for myself. Until this point, I had only been defending the people that were being attacked… not their doctrine, not their methods, not even the genuine theatrics that can follow some who hide under the Word of Faith banner… but it was time for me to make my veritable slam dunk. I just sat up straight and said “I would rather be counted with the heretics and have a heart that is alive in God, than have perfect doctrine, be loved by all, and be stuck in a dead form of religion.” Not my meekest or proudest moment. I will admit, I found it rather freeing to not be afraid of the heretic lable… not that I actually am one, but the idea that somebody thinks I am means I don’t have to worry about trying to impress them, change their mind, or even really listen to what they want to tell me. Somehow I think God will forgive me my doctrinal indescretions much sooner than another Christian will.
The verse that really set me off? “For the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” Matthew 7:2 My thoughts? If the measure I use is the measure I will get, then I want to use the broadest standard of grace that is biblically allowable so that I will the greatest standard of grace available. I keep thinking about what James said… “Let not many of you become teachers, for don’t you know that we will recieve a harsher judgement?” Whatever you teach and say as the truth will hold you accountable before God… ouch. I think that is why God only gave us ten commandments in the old testament… any more and we might not think it is possible to follow them. Maybe I’m just preaching to the choir on this one… but I know I’m feeling convicted. When all is said and done…. what is true?
Jesus came born of a virgin. Jesus lived a sinless life and died for the forgivness of sins for the “whosoevers”. Jesus rose three days later because of His victory over sin, death, and hell. Jesus is returning again to this earth, no one knows when except God Himself. Forgiveness is available and open to all, but narrow is the gate and difficult is the way that leads to life.
When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?