Monday, June 06, 2005

A major feature of my own journey (and I believe everyone's) has been shifting from man-centered ways of viewing everything, to seeing all things for the sake of God. I am talking about more than "who's on the throne" type of questions. Being raised in a Christian home meant that God was always on the throne; even so, my religion was largely human-centered.

In that continuing quest . . . I think about accepting people for the sake of God, rather than judging them for where they are theologically, spiritually, morally - in understanding or practice. Where anyone is in relationship to God is a phenomenon of time and place. I meet them here and now, but I don't know where they've been, or where they will go. If I make judgments on their present state, I am considering what God has done, but also their human imperfections. Anyone looking at me would see the same.

If, however, I view others through faith in God, then promises such as if one seeks, one will find, and Paul's confidence that the One who began a good work in the Philippians would bring it to completion, lead me to confidence in their perfection by grace (and mine too).

What if I accept people from a God-defined view, not measuring them in time where I meet them and noting the imperfections of thinking, practice, and devotion, but by faith in God when seeing evidence of his work and accept them as God will form them? I will accept the non-orthodox seeker as an orthodox believer, not giving them some "benefit of the doubt" or overlooking that person's non-orthodox beliefs or practices, but strictly for the sake of God's faithfulness.

I find that I have common ground not based on an acceptance of the Apostles' Creed, a high view of scripture, Trinitarian theology, a certain view of atonement, ecclesiology, eschatology, or a host of other important matters. I find that I am in a fellowship of seekers, and only find common ground lacking with those who don't seek (but might in fact agree with my thinking on many of the above-mentioned theological subjects).

May I accept those who seek on the basis on God's promise that they will find, welcoming them for the sake of God's faithfulness wherever they are "in time" on that journey. Of such, to my present thinking, is the Kingdom of God.

3 comments:

A said...

I like your thinking here. You are on to something.

Ken Haynes said...

Appreciate the post...

David Olivet said...

Great post! Accepting people as seekers should keep us from being legalistic and judgemental. Thanks for sharing your wisdom.