Who is more right? Evangelicals, Calvinists, charismatics, or Lutherans? I am coming to the conclusion that either none of us may be more right than the other, or we are all correct. This may sound like a statement lost in the morass of theological confusion.
What I sometimes notice in all these categories of theologies is a tendency in being over-anxious to defend their beloved theologies–especially on the blogosphere because we aren’t talking to them in person. The reason I am saying this is so that I can confess since I have found myself exhibiting a less-than-graceful attitude toward someone. We seem to put down our critics in order to make a case for our own theology (or mix of theologies). Sometimes, I may do this too; so I must try to hold myself accountable or need someone to help me do so.
No matter how open-minded we may think we are, when a critical comment is thrown toward our way and a sensitive chord is struck within us while our guard is down, we can be quick to return critical comments with our own critical comments against our critic. When Lutherans attack charismatics…Calvinists attack Arminians…evangelicals attack seemingly non-evangelicals, it can create barriers. However, without any conversation, theological barriers will never come down. So we must continue to open and carry on theological conversations. That is why I feel that blogging on theology is a wonderful thing; however, blogging can also be a vehicle that creates barriers when we don’t exhibit grace to other people with different theological beliefs.
In reading books from various theological backgrounds, I see a common tendency towards anxiety in people from all denominations…especially when we feel insecure about our own theology. We tend to see our own theology making the most sense to us, being the most logical, most biblical, and therefore, the most orthodox and true. Until we see how one another’s theology makes logical sense from the other’s perspective, it will be difficult for us to respect the theology of the other, and barriers will continue without any hope of being dismantled.
I am sympathetic to people who hold any theological beliefs because I hold or held many. As a charismatic evangelical Lutheran who is a closet Calvinist and former-Arminian, I hope to see my entire Christian family in Christ come together some day in understanding, in grace and in love. I still have much to work on in myself.