Change

My theology has changed a lot in the two and a half years since I came to university. Some of it has changed a lot in the last six months. You may once have been able to fit me into a nice little labeled box but nowadays the “conservatives” could call me liberal and the “liberals” would call me conservative.

It hasn’t been an easy journey and it isn’t over yet but I am glad to have taken it. If there’s one thing this degree does, it’s to make me question what I’ve been told and figure out what I really believe. But the majority of my theology changing has taken place outside of the classroom, as I follow Jesus and experience God, meeting with Him in unexpected places and unexpected ways. I love that the Holy Spirit is inspiring me to seek Truth and I feel like I understand God better than ever before, whilst also comprehending just how much more there is that I will never fully know.

There’s been some discussion among my friends recently about a lack of objective fact being proclaimed in our church. Less “this is what you should believe” and more “this is what I think it says, go see for yourself”. But it’s precisely that “this is what you should believe” of my past that trips me up whenever I face a new understanding of the complexities of God. Every time I edge towards a change of opinion, I feel guilty. I fear being labelled as “unbiblical”. I expect accusations of “unGodliness”. And then I begin to believe those labels and accusations. This propositional model has lead to more crises of faith than it has prevented and I’ve waded through a lot of doctrine to find a simple faith in a living God.

When you have built a relationship with someone, have known them for a time, when you love them and care for them, when you understand their very character: a revelation about their actions or a change in one aspect of their being does not shatter the foundation that you have already. A change in your friends belief system doesn’t change how much you care about them. A change in you wife’s mental health doesn’t change how devoted you are to her. A revelation about your child’s sexual orientation doesn’t change how much you love them.

The Church should be a place for theological exploration. We should be willing to admit that we don’t have all the answers and that the majority of the ones we do have are probably wrong. And then we should search for them some more. Discovering the vast mysteries of God can be a  joy and not something which is feared.

I secretly love being un-label-able and certain that God is holding me in His, I’m able to hold my theology in a more open hand.

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4 thoughts on “Change

  1. Biology tells us that if something isn’t changing, it’s dead. That doesn’t mean all living things must become completely unrecognizable next to their former selves, but I think our theology is a changing shore pummeled by the unchanging oceans of Godself. We panic and perceive it as God changing, but in reality it’s the other way around; the landscape changes, but God is still God. 150 years from now the shoreline might ebb and flow quite differently than it does in our current view, but it is still unmistakeably where God and humanity meet. Typically we want to hear “fact” proclaimed from the pulpit from secret desires that someone will agree with us, telling our itching ears what we want to hear. This is warned against biblically, and, as you suggest in this post, it doesn’t leave us much spiritual/emotional/academic freedom to get to know God any better than we already do. Stay on edge of the “shore,” Rachael; it’s where some of the most breathtaking encounters are!

  2. Oh Rachael, I just saw this, YES! I am stepping with you into discovering the vast mysteries of God wherever that takes me, without fearing it. And holding my convictions lightly, in an open hand. Love it, love you x

  3. Pingback: One Weekend in Moffat | rach's blog

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