They’re far less frequent than the encounters I’ll have with Christians who don’t seem to care enough about truth, but from time to time I’ll end up observing (or embroiled in) a conversation with a Christian who seems to enjoy pointing out the errors of others. Who seems to love the fight. Truth be told, I’ve probably been that Christian at certain moments.
And, since it was fresh on my mind as I wait on Sarah and the kids at the mall, I’ll offer a few quick thoughts on the professional heresy-hunter, the guy (or girl) who thoroughly enjoys the hunt:
- A mature Christian won’t run from conflict if the moment calls for it. An immature Christian seeks it out.
- Heaven will be boring to you if you like fights more than reconciliation.
- It’s not discernment to call every doctrinal disagreement “heresy.” It’s actually a lack of discernment. You’re not a discerning person if you’re unable to tell a rainstorm from a hurricane. Someone with good discernment is able to distinguish true doctrine from false doctrine, but he is also able to distinguish deadly errors from non-deadly ones, and is able to react to those different types of errors proportionately. He is also able to tell the difference between what he has good Biblical grounds to be certain on and what he has simply drawn out from the Bible as the most likely conclusion. I am certain on my Gospel. I am not certain on my eschatology.
- Conviction about doctrine should have as its primary aims love for God and love for man, not love for doctrine. I want to be deeply invested in justification by grace through faith alone, credobaptism, and the second coming of Christ because I love the triune God and the people He’s made. I don’t want to be firm in my doctrines because I love my doctrines, and then have to have somebody remind me to leave the study so I can go talk to people or take Lord’s Supper.
I love truth because I love the One who is truth.
Happy weekend, all!