Seriously, who in the world made any of us the experts of all things? Why would any one us believe what we believe in such a way that we would handle that belief with the arrogance of accusation? When we are convicted deeply regarding faith-based matters, those matters are factual to us from the inside out. The external handling of that internal resolution is all too often done with reckless contradiction towards the very thing we proclaim.
I’ve heard one Christian group after another condemn the other. They nit pick the positions and proclamations of other faith-based leaders and groups to the point of formal declarations clarifying that they are against a particular figure. The arrogance of our snickering and monitoring exceeds reasonable and distracts from the humility of our Saviour.
In Matthew 23, Jesus addresses the religious leaders of the day in their insistence on getting hung up on the details of accusation and fault-finding like this: “Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!”
He goes on to say, “You’re hopeless, you religion scholars and Pharisees! Frauds!” (quoted from The Message, which would disqualify me in the eyes of some modern-day Pharisees).
This internal bickering has gone back two thousand years and Paul gives us the Biblical response in Philippians 1, “I’ve decided that I really don’t care about their motives, whether mixed, bad, or indifferent. Every time one of them opens his mouth, Christ is proclaimed, so I just cheer them on!” (again, The Message).
There is likely a time and a place to take exception with differences in theology. Those times and those places are likely considerably fewer than currently exist. The need to walk out the purposes of the Kingdom in the world around us far exceeds the need for some kind of Internal Affairs police work within the Body.
When I was an Army officer, there would be times that soldiers would threaten to complain to the Inspector General whenever something wasn’t going their way. They would use this internal policing unit as leverage to try to get their way. My policy, as well as that of other good leaders, was to welcome such a report or subsequent inspection. If I’m consistently operating with integrity then I’m not afraid of someone taking a look at any given time. Nor am I compelled to be snooping around others to try to accuse them because my lens of expectation based in my own intention is that we’re all doing the best that we can.