I think sometimes I get myself into some sort of internal conundrum trying to have a water-tight take on specific doctrines. I don’t think I’m trying to get all my important doctrines squared off into neat little boxes so that I can take the moral high-ground on everyone else and point fingers. That’s really not my intent. I think I quest more for neat formulas because I vest confidence in those formulas as I proceed in ministry and life.
So for example, at the moment I’m frantically scratching my head over the doctrine of the church. There are a number of loose ends that I’d love to see neatly tied up. Why? So that I can tell the world off because they’ve all got church wrong? No – simply so that I can do church properly myself. And herein lies the problem. It becomes a trust problem. My confidence in ministry and life becomes vested in how well I’m able to intellectually tie together my framework about specific doctrines. Now even though many of those doctrines might be closely tied to Christ, they are themselves not Christ and my pursuit of them can therefore become idolatrous.
I wonder if some of us truly believe that we can become idolatrous in our doctrinal quests and miss the Christ under whom all our doctrines should be subservient? I must quest for knowledge, I must quest for truth, I must quest for doctrinal clarity where possible, but I must quest with Christ as my master and nothing else. Anything less is religious idolatry and depreciates the very point of knowledge, truth and doctrine.