I have noticed a frustrating trend when it comes to discussing Christianity and Church, particularly regarding whether or not a church should pass doctrine as absolute, especially when that doctrine has a possibility of not actually solving the problem it is allegedly designed to solve. Ever been in a discussion about a debatable doctrinal rule? It sucks big time.
When church-goers try to pass the ______________ (fill in the blank) doctrine, they typically focus on one or two verses of scripture and then cherry-pick the verse to mold their rule. As the famous meme says, the bible is not a bag of trail mix where you just pick out the pieces you like and dump the rest. No, we are all a diverse bag of trail-mix.
Many discussions in church are like taking sides of a political party, and eventually leading to a partisan group that splits into a certain mold. When liberal thinkers try passing their own _________ (fill in the blank) doctrine, I am sure as a group they focused on a few verses to form their own rules. Then conservative opponents focused on how bad their doctrine was. And then there is the flip side with conservatives passing the rule, and the liberals being opponents. All of the sudden there are tens of thousands little sects of different denominational thinking… and to be accepted in any of those groups one must abide by the doctrine set before them by man.
This dynamic not only affects denominational lines in both directions, but also issues that transcend them. The focus moves off of Christ and falls right into their own agenda. Sounds just like politics…the focus falls off the people, and right into their own self-gain.
I am sure there is a debate going on in many mainline churches today about how a church should be structured, with hierarchy, and elder boards. This current debate over church structure, which pits a lot of liberal denominations against conservative denominations, has a lot of people who love Christ on both sides, and also has a lot of people that focus on how unfair the current doctrine is. Opponents focus on how this particular doctrine is not that good of a solution. It completely divides us all, and for what… power?
This is what we call Unity? No. It is what I call bullshit.
Why do people keep trying to make church the way they see it to be when God has already established it as His Son?
As a result of all this debating, both sides often end up talking past each other, whether on the floor of the church after Sunday school or in the comments section of a lot of Christian websites, saying the same things over and over again and getting absolutely nowhere.
Supporters often accuse their opponents of not caring about the problem.
Opponents tend to ignore all that and reiterate their opposition.
So how do we solve these repetitive exercises in futility?
I do not have the answers, but one guess is that we could stop cherry-picking verses ans see the book as a whole. It is the Good NEWS, not the good ADVICE.
But again, if I say anything I might be creating my own doctrine, so I guess I will shut-up now.