I want to tell everyone who doesn’t feel the way I feel, and understand Scripture the way that I understand it, that they aren’t right with Jesus. I have this terrible, evil instinct inside myself. A place of arrogance, pride, and self-righteousness. A place where I sometimes mistakenly think that God is confined to the nice, little box of my understanding. A place where I do not allow any grace for others but gladly except grace for myself. Maybe you can relate.
Even though I think the proper response is clearly expressed in Scripture, I must be gracious to those who disagree. One of the principles of the Christian Church since its beginning in the 1800s is that we believe that there should only be a minimal set of essentials. And the way one should react to the death of a terrorist like Osama bin Laden does not make that cut. If you want to read our church’s list of beliefs, they can be check out at here.
On the rest, we can disagree. And we will disagree. But we will disagree and still call all those who call Jesus their Lord brothers and sisters. This has historically proven to be a tough place to remain because we, the church, suffer from Essential creep. Another issue becomes important, and people want to make that an essential. Then another. Then another. And soon we have a whole handbook, often times unwritten and unknowable even to the individual, that holds all of the legalistic thoughts – a handbook that tells us what to think on a multitude of issues and who to consider not a Christian.
I don’t know everything, but I do know that I killed Osama bin Laden in my heart a long time ago. For that I need God’s grace. May I have the strength to show that grace to others.