There are a couple things that will get me fired up pretty quickly – racism and bad theology. This post is about bad theology…but don’t worry I have a post about racism in the works too…and it’s a doozy.
But first let’s focus on bad theology…
Too often we mis-interpret and then also re-interpret thoughts and passages in the Bible into a way that makes them more palatable to digest. We also like them to specifically apply to our own lives and to our own specific situations. When this happens we end up passing down a lot of God’s teachings as mis-truths. So then the bible turns into a collection of urban legends and we miss out on his beautiful truths that are present right in front of us.
Like today for example, I was reading an article about how people were trying to find Biblical truths regarding if being gluten-free was acceptable to God. So they were dissecting how Jesus said he is the bread of life, all the stories about unleavened bread, etc, etc. So while they’re looking for evidence to vilify or verify their question they will completely overlook MUCH BIGGER truths contained in those passages. They are taking square peg truths and trying to make them fit into round peg individual experience holes. C’mon people – we have more important things to focus on.
The meat of this post is focused on this next thought. Consider this…
“God will never give you more than you can handle.”
I’m sure you’ve heard this saying before. Yeah…it’s not in the Bible.
This is a complete bastardization of 1 Corinthians 10:13.
This thought is taken so far out of context as to what the scripture is actually talking about.
This verse is talking about temptation, not suffering (enduring more than we can handle). HUGE difference. We can control what we give into with temptations. We can not choose we suffer from. People
use misuse this snippet of the passage and choose to proliferate christian life as all puppy dogs and unicorns, and that we can shrug off the hard times in our lives because God will wave his magic wand and make the “more than we can handle” disappear. It’s a pacifier, pat on the back for Christians. I will say that most of the time this phrase is said unintentional and innocently enough…and most of the time it’s meant to help people make feel better. But it’s wrong. It’s become one of those sayings that is said so often that people now automatically assume that is what is said and meant in the Bible. This is why we need to be careful about our theology.
For a MUCH better explanation of what I’m trying to say, go here – it’s an article on Relevant (the magazine) that talks about this issue specifically. They do a much more eloquent job of explaining the situation.
Now..a final quick, side-note indirectly related to the topic of this post. It’s just something to keep in mind since I love talking about the interplay of theology and living our lives…
This is from Zack Hunt’s post, “Do Heretics Really Go To Hell?”
In other words, Jesus doesn’t really seem to care much about our theological orthodoxy.
He seems to care a lot more about our orthopraxy, that is to say whether or not we actually lived our lives like he did.
Again, that’s not to say that ideas aren’t important. They are. But I don’t see anywhere in any of Jesus’ descriptions of the final judgement where he says or even implies that our salvation rests on agreeing to all the right doctrines.
Look, I love theology and I think good theology can lead to good living, just like bad theology can lead to bad living. But I’m convinced it’s the fruit of our theology – the way we live our lives and how we treat others – that determines the goodness of our theology, not whether or not our ideas adhere to a particular theological system.