Yikes! That’s 25% of the book! Not good.
And worse yet, according to the outline I have for the chapter, I am only about half-way through what I had planned for the chapter. At this rate, by the time I get done with it, it will be a book all by itself.
I am trying to keep each chapter under 5,000 words, and so since I already have to cut out 75% of what I have written, there is not much sense in continuing with my chapter outline even though I know many of you still have questions about the role of doctrinal statements in church.
So here is what I am going to do. First, I am going to post a brief conclusion to this chapter here, and then, starting tomorrow, move on to the next chapter, which is titled “Let Prayer Meetings Cease.” Eventually (who knows when), I will try to get back to this topic of doctrinal statements and finish it up, maybe turning it into a book of its own.
So here is the conclusion to the chapter on Doctrinal Statements:
Conclusion to Doctrinal Statements
We do not give up doctrine; nor do we try to find the bare minimum on which all agree and then believe and teach only that. We do not seek to find a watered down version of Christianity which is still barely Christian and come together in unity on that. That sounds dreadful!
A Christianity of that sort is not worth believing. We want the questions answered. We want the i’s dotted and the t’s crossed. We want razor sharp minds delving deep into the quandaries and questions of Scripture and theology. We don’t want to say that certain questions are not wanted. We should not tolerate the idea that certain ideas cannot be tolerated.
In chasing after unity then, what we must strive for is not unity in agreement, but unity in love. This is the New Testament way. Though finer points of theology can be discussed and debated, at the end of the day, we must all be able to say, “I love you still.”
I am of the conviction that where there is no love, there is no truth. Truth, if is known, treats others with love, even when they disagree. Look at God. He knows everything, and as a result, loves everyone.
The goal of doctrine, discussion, and theological debate is not to make us more right, but to make us more like Jesus. As we learn from each other, we should be moving ever closer to the center, which is Christ. And the closer we get to the center, not only do we understand more, but we also love more. For Christ, who is Truth, is also perfect Love.
As we grow closer to Him, we grow closer to each other.