Just had to blog on this one! This morning I found myself barred from a Facebook page called ‘The Christian Left’ for expressing an opinion. This is a page I follow due to its desire to challenge mainstream theology and ‘Christian’ political opinion. I found there contributors with whom I generally agreed and concurred, but the odd occasion I would find a post that went against certain biblical truths I hold dear. I often engaged in these debates, as ever being reserved and polite, and accepted that I would not be in complete agreement with everyone who appeared on the page.
This is the impetus behind this very blog. I always like to challenge fellow believers to think carefully about what they believe, search scripture, ask themselves if what they believe is from their own convictions or their own reading of scripture, or from a denominational bias or the singular rantings of one preacher (or blogger, let’s not forget!).
I never expect to agree with everyone on all the finer points of my faith. There are good friends in my own church who believe in British Israelism – I think it’s one of the most laughable ideas I’ve ever heard, and I tell them so. If they believe it, they’re entitled to. There are many other things upon which debate will always rage, like whether we remain in the grave (soul sleep) or go straight to heaven on death – I’m totally unbothered, to be honest, I’ll get there eventually, whichever way it is. Yet some churches split over this!!
I have little time for ‘statements of faith’ since they invariably end up very lengthy and stray into fairly minor points that seem to state: “unless you subscribe to all our points here, we shall not fellowship with you”. I outlined what I think is important in a previous blog here.
My incredulity comes from an idea within myself that I am probably the most agreeable of theologians, taking points I believe are good and worthy of attention from all sides of opinion, from the Pope to the Puritans, even though I despise many doctrines within those various groups. I’m so glad that I’ve come to a considered opinion that many who claim the tag ‘Christian’ may well be my fellow brothers and sisters – in the end, only God knows [the Calvinist principle of the invisible church] – I have debated with many and found a kindred love for Jesus in people who belong to denominations I consider to be very dodgy; their personal experience is what counts. For me, theological points sit on a scale from very important, through ‘interesting’ to ‘meh!’ and I know myself which I give more weight to, and on that I rest.
I know that pages like The Christian Left have to do some barring. We all know trolls out there, and I’ve seen the usual abusive comments made by some (who very seldom can string together a coherent sentence, yet know how to spell all the swear words one could imagine), but for just saying “excuse me, but that article is doing the very same thing you accuse others of, in being selective and not addressing the whole issue, so making wildly false claims” I get barred from further comments and see mine removed!?
Considering such pages are meant to encourage alternative thinking, surely it is off the scale of irony? So I have to sing from exactly the same hymn sheet? (That pun was unintended, but so apt. Thank you!). Just more denominalisation, causing more division!
“Stop parroting their mantras! Just parrot our mantras and you’ll be fine.”
Grace be with you.