Be Willing to Change:
I don’t expect to fully understand God by the time I’m done with middle school, high school, college, or when I retire—faith is a Pilgrim’s Progress, a journey of continual growth and maturity. God is too big and glorious to completely understand within a set amount of time, so my ideas, opinions, and understanding of God—my theology—will change.
But why do you remain static in your belief systems? Why do you spend all of your time and energy promoting your theology as being exclusively correct? In the real world, people change. We learn, we grow, and we meet new people, experience different cultures, and encounter transformational events— life happens.
So stop pretending you’re the exception to the rule and have everything figured out. If you’re a human, you don’t know it all, so quit claiming you do.
SOURCE: Stephen Mattson: An Open Letter to All Christian Theologians | Red Letter Christians.
As the source title implies the quote above is from an open letter to Christian theologians. As the quote says, I too have grown immensely since my early years in a Catholic grade school. I believe I have matured as a Christian in my thoughts and deeds. It has indeed been a Pilgrim’s Progress for me.
My theology began to drastically change when I entered my middle years. As a person I have never shied away from asking “why”. That has gotten me into more trouble in the church than it probably has anywhere else in my life. So many Christian denomination just don’t like to be questioned about their beliefs or doctrine.
I have come to the conclusion that none of the current or past religious theologies are exclusively correct. I’m sure I would never have come to this conclusion without asking questions. All religious institutions, and I mean all, are just man’s attempt to understand God. They all put their own spin on God; a spin that meets their current agenda. I have come to understand that with our puny brains, God is just not totally understandable and he never will be. But that understanding does not mean that I will simply believe what I am told to believe about him.
I do believe that the Christian bible which was written by hundreds of very wise men throughout the ages teaches me about Jesus and his commands of us. The most basic command is to love God and to love each other. Jesus told us that that the primary lesson that trumps all other messages in the bible. When I hear others either ignore that lesson or try to twist it into something else I approach their words with extreme caution. If they can’t get the simple “love” command right how can I trust that they can get any of it right.
I will never claim that I know it all. Those who make such claims are often building a house of cards that are most likely to fall with the smallest of questions.