Saturday, June 23, 2007

God has the LAST Word
Recently, I read an interview with some of the stars of "Evan Almighty," one of the many summer sequels. Something really caught my attention in the questioning of Lauren Graham.
She said, "[I am] unfazed about appearing in a film of such biblical proportions." continuing she says "never think[s] of things like that" when she takes a role.
"When I was up for Gilmore Girls, somebody said, 'Don't you worry that you're playing a mom? Because you're kind of young to do that.' And I didn't even think about it like that. I just connected to the character, and I didn't think about the network or the message. To me, when you're the actor, you're just thinking about the person and not the results. And Bruce Almighty had similar themes in it, but it came out in a really different way. To me this is a movie that is for everybody."
Whenever, we take on something whether it is being an actor, a friend, a mother or a member of our community, I believe we need to think about the message and the results that may or may not be the results of our actions. To believe our responsibility ends where our role ends no matter where we are in life, is to go about our business in an unthinking manner. As John Donne penned hundreds of years ago, "No man is an island."
Our actions, words, and delivery of those words have impact upon others great and small. Even when words are carefully chosen, they may not be received in the manner in which we were delivering them. We may cause others pain and close down areas of communication that are meaningful and life giving.
God is not just concerned with our actions and our words, He is also very much concerned with the motives of our hearts and our philosophy of the Christian Life. When it comes to being a part of the body of Christ, I believe God is concerned with what we believe about God himself and the body of Christ (we could also say the Church or the family of God). When the Lord says that the greatest commandment is to love the Lord Your GOD with all your heart, soul, mind; I believe that those three do there best to encompass the whole person. For someone to say, "I am going to do my best to do the right thing and love my neighbor as myself. I don't need to worry about doctrinal issues. They can be so divisive," this to me is not loving God with all your mind.
A number of Christians, individually and corporately classify "doctrine" as a term or issue that we are better off leaving within Seminary halls or for those of us who have a more argumentative bent. No wonder the American Christian church is in the state it is.
Let's take the definition of "doctrine" from the Greek New Testament is teachings. So, for Christians to discuss biblical doctrine or Christian teachings is right, true and inspiring.
Enough out of me; let's see what God has to say about it.

Titus 2
6"Likewise urge (K)the young men to be sensible;7in all things show yourself to be (L)an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, 8sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so (M)that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us. "
1Timothy 4
16 Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will (AL)ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.

There is plenty for us to read concerning christian teachings. Particularly, in 1st and 2nd Timothy, Paul emphasizes the necessity to hold fast to sound doctrine. As I read both of these books, it got me to thinking: Paul is writing to his spiritual son and this is just one of the areas that he is letting his son know is very important.
Paul probably uses the strongest language concerning doctrine in Ephesians and Galatians.
Feel free to read those books at your leisure.
To write these things for myself is to remind myself about the truths I have found in God's Word and to remember that I am a part of the body of Christ and if that benefits my readers as well, then praise the Lord.
Romans 15
For (F)whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. 5Now may the (G)God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you (H)to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus,"


Grace said...

Thank you for writing about such an important issue as doctrine.
Some people I've talked to seem to view it as a 4 letter....(um, make that 8 letters)...word; however, the bible speaks of its importance so often and so strongly, that if "doctrine" can be called a 4/8 letter word, then so should words like "suffering", "hardship", "Perseverance", "salvation", "regeneration", etc.
These are all hard, true, BIBLICAL principles that the bible teaches.

How funny, as I read over that list, I realized that the only reason any of those things mean something to us is because of (you guessed it) OUR DOCTRINE! Doctrine is what makes salvation, salvation. It's what makes regeneration, regeneration, etc. etc.
Our doctrine is quite simply, our beliefs about these things. If we have no doctrine, we have no Christianity.
If we cannot discuss our doctrine (I.E. the foundations of all our beliefs/why we live our lives the way we do) we are condemning ourselves to being unable to discuss the most important thing in the world: Who are God is and how he has magnified his name in all the earth.

What a sad thought.
~Grace (your long winded daughter...who loves reading your posts)

Grace Joan said...

oops -
I meant "our" - not ARE :-P (I guess I still have some of that old New England in me after all...)