How Important Is Our Theology?
During the 30 Years War in central Europe over 30% of the population that lived in what is present day Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Northern France, Poland, and the Netherlands were slaughtered over their theology.
While this seems far off and distant to us in modern Western culture we aren't. Attending a Church gathering almost always entails hearing the blanket term 'heretic' being thrown about from the stage or the people in the crowd.
Heretics—it seems—come in many forms and fashions solely dependent on the crowd. There are the liberal heretics—the ones who interpret the bible through a modern cultural lens. Conservative heretics—whom refuse to acknowledge the bible was written by real people, in real time, through a certain cultural lens. You have moderate heretics whom won't take a stand on 'important' issues, and the list goes on.
Theology, it seems is worth fighting over.
The question is why? The answer of course is, belief dictates behavior. If you believe you have the ability to fly like a superhero jumping from a high platform makes a lot of sense (I may or may not have attempted this at a young age). To my mom believing that I would not fly from a 20 foot high platform seeing her young son free fall like a stone did not leave a warm fuzzy feeling. I got a stern talking to about how I couldn't fly, but yes it would be awesome if I could.
What's disturbing in a theological sense is when someone believes anything and it does not inform their decisions.
I'm becoming increasingly less concerned with what it is exactly that people say they believe and more concerned with how they live.
I've had many conversations with men and when whom could weave a tapestry of theology that would make the most learned individual stand in awe. The problem is I've watched the same person be a jerk to their barista. Pastors who give incredible sermons on the 'theology' of marriage that transform the lives of their congregation, while their own house burns.
Theology is of vital importance, but only when it is expressed in our actions. Whenever theology becomes black ink on a white page and never moves us to live differently we are as Paul writes 'a clanging gong.'
Maybe it's time to stop arguing over crossing every theological 't' and dotting every 'i'. Perhaps it's time we start to be more concerned with how we're living.