Way too many believers spend their whole lives plagued by a dysfunction they aren’t even aware of.
It’s the grave mistake of adopting a purist approach to the non-essentials – both in doctrine and in life.
It seems to me one great reason many people in society (what we usually call “the world”) don’t trust us Christians‚ avoid us and can’t imagine having a “good time” while anyone of us is anywhere near them‚ is yes‚ because folks who have made their choice to live in sin‚ find people who hold themselves to a higher standard of morality‚ a bit annoying.
But we’re also detested for being “narrow minded”. Sad thing is‚ narrow mindedness turns out to be a mostly true kind of an allegation in many cases.
Yet in some cases we’re labeled “narrow minded” because we don’t tolerate other people’s “point of view”.
But what does “point of view” mean exactly? Does it not combine in itself the very idea of free will mixed with possibly deception and possibly truth?
Why would I want to be deceived about anything? If knowing “the true” and only God makes me a “bigot” in someone’s eyes‚ well too bad for them. As far as God is concerned there aren’t three “points of view” between the Father‚ the Son and the Holy Spirit. The promise of heaven is also the promise of elimination of every other “point of view” except God’s reality. Hence‚ the point of view concept applies really only to our earthly human experience and only because we are faced almost daily with deception in and around us. The Four Gospels are not different “points of view”. They are only different vantage points of the same truth.
So as far as getting to the bottom of who God is for example‚ the Bible doesn’t leave much room for other points of view. This is the purist approach to both the Bible itself and the way allow it to shape up our values.
Now here’s the thing – most people in the world actually respect us as Christians when we show them we can stand up for our beliefs and values.
The problem‚ the breakdown and the alienation of Christians come in when we commit the grave mistake of adopting a purist approach to doctrine and values‚ to non-essentials (style‚ shape and form of things).
Let me clarify again – big difference when it comes to “essentials” and “non-essentials”! No different “view points” for example when it comes to whether Jesus was God or not. Perfectly OK to have different view points on what kind of music one should listen to‚ what profession they will choose‚ what kind of person they will marry‚ how they will dress‚ what kind of car they will drive‚ where should they live and so on. This purist approach to TRUTH concerns the “essentials”‚ it doesn’t concern personal preferences‚ styles‚ opinions‚ etc. It’s a GRAVE mistake to apply the purist approach we should have to essentials‚ to non-essentials. Both in life and in our doctoral & philosophical grid.
The impact of applying a staunch‚ purist view on essentials‚ to non-essentials‚ is this: it gives off a terrible self-righteous vibe many people find creepy and uber-hypocritical. And “vibes”‚ being emotional level perceptions‚ are what defines what real and what’s fake to most people.
And I don’t blame them!
Many times‚ unfortunately I think they’re right. Take it from someone who used to think they really have this whole “God” thing figured out 😉