26 March 2012

What's Theology Got to Do With It?

Over the weekend, Kevin Gerald, pastor of Champions Centre, tweeted the following:

(Online Source)
At the time, I sighed to myself and thought, "Well, there's a shock." This morning, my friend Chris Rosebrough of Fighting for the Faith reminded me of Gerald's tweet (you can hear Rosebrough's response to the tweet here). This time I thought, "It's a good thing that Kevin Gerald doesn't think theology matters, because that statement is full of bad theology!"

Consider a couple of things. First, if theology doesn't matter at all, and all we need to worry about is loving people, then there's really no point in evangelizing, is there? After all, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, atheists, each have really bad theology! So if theology doesn't matter, then why would Christians be spending so much time trying to fulfill the Great Commission?

This brings us to our second point. In Matthew 28, we read the following:
Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:16-20)
Jesus commanded that we teach others "to observe all that I have commanded you." During His three years of earthly ministry, did Jesus ever once say, "Hey, guys, I know that I'm the Son of God, the second Person of the Trinity. And I know that one day, as prophesied long ago, I will be crucified for the sins of all who will believe and that three days later I will rise again. But, the truth is, it doesn't matter what all of you actually end up believing about me. Just be nice and be good. Love people. It will all shake out in the end."

Admittedly, I have not yet checked The Message translation on this, but as far as my biblical knowledge goes, Jesus never said anything like this. In fact, everything that Jesus commanded and taught His disciples was theology, and correct theology at that. So Code Orange speaker Kevin Gerald has a problem.

If we really want to "#lovepeople," then we will strive to teach them correct theology as found in God's Word. To do anything else would be quite unloving, for in not correcting one's erroneous doctrine, you may find yourself "loving" that person all the way to their eternal condemnation.

SEE ALSO:
More Hypocrisy (from Possessing the Treasure)
False Doctrine Destroys Christian Unity (from Better Than Sacrifice

12 comments:

  1. Maybe he doesn't know the definition of "theology". Only explanation for such stupidity, especially from a pastor. Or maybe he doesn't know the definition of "pastor".

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  2. Theology does not matter only if Theos - θεός - God does not matter...
    Sadly if you really think it through, this is precisely the case with story tellers of popular leavenjellycalism parading as "pastors". The fact that their stories are wrapped in God does not matter for it is only a crude marketing trick. The content is man produced and man oriented and that kind of product does not need true Theos, true God and as documented above true theology.

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  3. Coincidentally, Challies' post yesterday was of a new series he is starting, a series discussing the correct definition of some of the essential words of our faith. He began with a discussion of "Theology", what it is and why it is important. FYI, it is here
    http://www.challies.com/resources/the-essential-theology

    He begins with this-
    "Millard Erickson, in his massive work Christian Theology, gives a simple but rather comprehensive definition:
    [Theology is] that discipline which strives to give a coherent statement of the doctrines of the Christian faith, based primarily on the Scriptures, placed in the context of culture in general, worded in a contemporary idiom, and related to issues of life."

    If Christians don't care about having a 'coherent statement' of our doctrines, then all that will happen in evangelizing or even living out our faith, is confusion. And we know where confusion comes from.

    Thanks for this post. I receive that comment frequently, 'aw, theology don't matter, just love your neighbor.' One of the hardest things I encounter is to try and get apathetic Christians to care about the foundational beliefs, AND to articulate them correctly.

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  4. The Chris Rosebrough response is priceless.

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  5. Jesus' death is "theology", all other is just religion

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  6. Wisdom didn't die for wisdom.
    Truth didn't die for theology.
    The teacher didn't for correct teaching.
    The example didn't die as an example to follow...

    Where did Kevin Gerald study?

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    1. Looks like Kevin Gerald did not study anywhere at all nor did his pastrix wife Sheila. Perhaps, I am wrong and if so I would like to be corrected please but if I am right then this also sheds more light on a statement and approach of this leavenjellycal story teller/entertainer. By putting down the importance of theology, i.e. that is by putting down what he is massively ignorant of Gerald placates his troubled ego and helps himself to be perceived as actually being capable to make up his false religiosity stories in public and get paid for that too... He is surfing on the on inch deep ocean of ignorance.

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  7. It seems that the church [not His church] but the church grows ever more tolerant as each day passes. Thanks to the 'theology' of Joel Osteen, Rick Warren, Rob Bell... instead of the church changing the world, it appears the world is changing the church - little by little by...

    "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things..." 2 Timothy 4:2-5

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    1. the true Church all individual true believers in Jesus Christ, I believe are coming out of the harlotry of the false church. I honestly believe that what we are seeing, are majority lost people not saved. Now I grant you that there are people who are saved but God will call them out of this mess because HE is faithful and his calling is effectual~

      This is God's restraining hand being lifted off people and giving them over to a reprobate mind as Jesus' return for his beloved bride to be draws near.

      People like this don't love Jesus Christ. If they did they'd love the word of God just the same and with their very life. It is God's word that saved us-- 1Pe 1:23 "For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God."

      Jesus DID die for correct theology-John 8:24. Jesus Christ when he walked on this earth was the greatest theologian and he still is because He is God and he IS his own message.

      We cannot jettison the truth(correct theology)and still be following Jesus because we would have to get rid of a PERSON-Jesus.

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  8. Let me tell you, this same mindset/attitude, or whatever you want to call it, has now infected many once conservative evangelical pastors and theologians.

    Listen carefully and you will hear a new mantra being heralded over and over again - "Win the man, not the argument." When I was still a part of the Harvest Bible Fellowship, I began to hear it being used continuously by leadership in the HBF.

    Essentially, this saying says that theology is secondary in importance to relationships with people. So, if it comes down to keeping sound theology vs. preserving the relationship with the man, many young pastors throughout the HBF are now being taught that you do everything you can to preserve the relationship, even if it means downplaying certain components of orthodox theology. Of course, you do this with the hope that through your "loving relationship" with the man, he will come to see the light in the area of his unsound theology. Well, we see how that's worked out with Steven Furtick, haven't we?

    This is exactly why MacDonald is willing to associate himself with TD Jakes, Steven Furtick, Perry Noble, etc... It is this mindset that has lead to these types of decisions.

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    1. Hi Dan,

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, especially considering your position as a former HBF church. I agree, this is the "mantra" that we are hearing from the "conservative evangelical pastors." Unity, unity - unfortunately, at the expense of truth. I have heard these same ideas being taught during the sermon time at HBC in recent weeks. When we place theology as secondary to earthly relationships, thereby compromising the truth, we end up with a weak, jelly-kneed church that ends up serving man rather than God. And sadly that is exactly what the "evangelical" church in America has come to.

      As a side note, I'd like to thank you for the stance that you and your church took in leaving Harvest Bible Fellowship. Your courage and commitment to God and His Word was encouraging for many. I know that it must have been a difficult decision and likely did not come without repercussions of some sort. So, thank you. You and your church are in my prayers and the prayers of many readers of this blog.

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    2. Dan,
      I agree with Ebenz above. Continue to stand firm on The Truth. You are an encouragement to me.

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