Heard a lovely man say, “before you go out the door, remember to hang you theology and doctrine on a hook and pick up your love.” I sure liked that analogy. We hang our doctrine and theology up because it is precious, because it has worth and value. If we didn’t respect it, we’d just kick it off and throw it in a pile on the floor, like my kids used to do with some of their things.
No one is suggesting we throw it out or kick it under the bed, never to be seen again. You hang it up carefully on a hook where you can easily find it.
The thing is, you can’t really go out the door carrying a big load of doctrine and a big load of love at the same time. You just look like a mix between a one man band and a bag lady, clanging symbols and all.
I simply must poke some fun here, being on the internet and bumping into other Christians can be an eye-opening experience, one that sometimes reminds me that ignorance is bliss. Speaking of hanging things on a hook, I feel like there are simply some people who could really benefit from being stuffed in a locker with a giant wedgie.
Take for instance these Paleo-Calvanists. That’s what I call them anyway, because they really just need to go slay a mammoth, fire up the coals, and roast some meat.
Than we have the Super-Duper reformed. Reformed is a good word, it reminds me of reform school. These people are like juvenile delinquents who had to go boot camp to get scared straight. They don’t seem to understand that some us are not about to go out and rob a liquor store.
The Wretched Crowd is just a ball of fun, too. These people are like, terrified someone might actually forget they are really just a wretched sinner. A worm. You actually can’t get small enough for them.
The Katy-crowd is another favorite of mine. Katy is simply a poor unfortunate soul I once met who declared her job was to demonstate why people might need the grace of God. Then a she proceeded to do just that. “Hello my name is Katy, I feel it is my job to personally demonstrate for you all why Jesus’ mercy and grace is so needed.” The Katy crowd usually have a beatiful ministry of backstabbing and gossip going on.
TULIP trippers can be interesting. They like to go trip the light fantastic out in the cosmos somewhere, always trying to mess with your mind about predestination and the elect. Total depravity, man. Chilax man, it’s all just predetermined.
The Spanish Inquisition can be a downright terrifying gang. Those guys are often to be found screaming “heretic” at you, declaring their fondness for the virtues of pain, and running off to get a torch. Throw chocolate at them. And cat pictures. Then hide your IP and change your avatar.
If the Spanish Inquisition doesn’t scare you, we also got the So-Open-Minded -Our-Brains-Done-Fell-Out crowd. They’re so tolerant, they’ve now come full circle. “There are many paths to the Father,” they like to say, with some zen-like acceptance, right before they scream, “EXCEPT YOURS, you horrible oppressive-regressive!”
Kind of funny, I’m an unapologetic Christian, not an apologist for Christians. Most of us are simply without excuse and our flaws tend to really come to light on the internet. There are aspects of me in all those characters too, some shared beliefs, some shared doctrines and theology. Just the same, hang it on a hook and let Christ shine through.
Today a tiny kid pointed to our pastor and said, “That’s Jesus.” Now that’s what I’m talking about! Amen. That’s what people should see when they look at us, Jesus Christ. Not our team colors, not our denominations, not our doctrine, not our personal opinions. They should see the love of Christ.
We should be able to look at Christian people with all the wonder and innocence of a child and the first thing we think of is Jesus. That person just seems to remind me of Jesus. That’s the place we’re all trying to get to, even though the roads aren’t paved and some of us are driving on 3 tires and a rim.
John 13:34-35 tells us, “A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so also you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.”
So, if doctrine, theology, and personal opinion is all people can see of you, hang it on a hook when you go out the door and pick up your love.