Day 21: Bethsaida Dig (Day 7)
Well, there isn’t much to say about today. We dug some more, listened to some pottery readings, and then listened to our professor speak tonight as the guest speaker. Overall, it just was kind of a blah day.
The blah-ness has allowed me to really think. After my posts in Day 7 and my revised views in Isreal, combined with my thoughts from Day 20, I just have really be thinking a lot about the future, both for myself and for the church.
For myself, I am solidifying my beliefs. Sadly, most people grossly misinterpret what I say and what I believe. Part of that is my fault based on my own delivery. Part of that are people coming to my arguments with their own presuppositions and then reading into what I am saying.
I honestly do not know how to fix this problem--not with Israel and Palestine, but with my speaking problem. I have been trying to be careful with what I say. I have really be trying to be fair and not one sided. However, it seems like I am supposed to be one sided in my arguments.
Don’t hear me wrong, I firmly believe that Jesus is the ONLY way to heaven. Unlike many modern Christian movements that lean towards Universalism (which I greatly disagree with), I actually believe that there is only one way to heaven, and that is Jesus.
Yet, even though I believe it, it seems like I am asked to believe so much more on top of it. While I am a firm supporter of solid doctrine, some beliefs I do not feel are important at all and really should not be debated. I believe we get so caught up in the specifics of the Bible (how specifically the world is going to end, which nation to support and which to not support, whether you should sprinkle or dunk during baptism, whether you are Calvinist or not) that we rank those up with the greater doctrines that are more important in life (like the Triune God or the validity of the God-Man: Jesus).
I have just found that people like this who rank lesser doctrines up higher with more solid, life-altering doctrines tend to push people away, as I have described with Susan in Day 20. We are unintentionally pushing people away as Christians because we are losing sight of our First Love.
Jesus should always be our main focus, and the basic doctrines of His teachings as outlined in the Gospels should be our primary doctrine. The writings of Paul and his other contemporaries (Peter, James, etc.) should be taken secondly as a whole. We should never take one verse and make an entire doctrinal stance on it.
All I know is that I love Jesus and that He loves me. I am working my hardest to serve Him, and He has presented me with opportunites to show how much He loves other people as well. I am FAR from perfect. I don’t know everything. (Sometimes, it feels like people expect me to have it all together and have all the answers, and it really sucks.) God is still working on me. I am still learning to trust and rely on Him. He is still showing me the full extent of His love.
Let us remember that as we are going throughout life. In every day, in every way, keep your eyes focused on Him. Let’s not get bogged down with the little things. Let’s not judge and ridicule those who are different than us. Let’s look for opportunities to witness and share God’s love to people. Let’s change the world.
Following His Call,