I don’t know if you realize it or not, but there are a lot of liberal preachers in our pulpits across this country.
They talk about ‘social justice’ and ‘gay rights’ as Biblical rights and responsibilities. From women pastors to beer parties after church, there is an every growing change in the fabric of the church.
I tend to avoid pastors whose ideology differs so widely from my own. I’m not opposed to the exchange of ideas and the opportunity for debate. I just prefer to listen to my pastor teach the word without having to ‘filter’ out any social or political mumbo jumbo that I disagree with.
Face to Face with a Liberal
Our church invited Tony Campolo to speak on Friend Day, 2011. I only knew of Campolo because I was familiar with the sermon, “It’s Friday, But Sundays Coming.” I emphasis familiar, because that is all I knew.
When it was announced that Dr Campolo would be preaching at our church . . .from the pulpit . . . on Sunday morning . . . the news began to travel across the social network. Really? At our church? The conservative, right leaning, Southern Baptist church was going to have a bleeding heart liberal stand in our pulpit and preach the sermon. Really?!?
Sure enough on Sunday morning, there he was. The Eastern University professor who was the ‘spiritual adviser’ to President Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky “issue” was in my church about to take the platform.
And Them He Preached!
I had decided to be open minded and listen and engage. After all, isn’t that the point of developing a Biblical worldview? I need to be able to listen and filter according to the Scriptures.
I tuned my filter and prepared to listen and take notes on the issues that I would need to address in my Sunday School class. After all, I might need to set some things straight.
He didn’t open the Bible like one would expect. As a matter of fact he didn’t have a Bible at the pulpit. He took out his note cards and began to deliver the message.
Did I Hear that Right?
His message was really simple. Tony Campolo said that there is a separation or divide in the life of the modern believer.
There are some who have a deep understanding of Theology and really have the knowledge and understanding of what it is to be a Christian. The problem is that they do not have much application, so that knowledge has little value.
There are some who are steadfast and active doing what they believe to be the work of the Lord. They are working hard and diligently, but they do not have an understanding of basic Bible doctrines. And as a result, they are often led astray or misguided.
The point of the Christian faith is to have an understanding of Theology that leads to a working of that faith in deed. It is the knowledge of our faith that causes us to be doers of our faith.
I remember listening and pausing his sermon in my head. I wanted to linger on his point. I wanted to digest this a bit more.
I know that I have a tendency to lean heavily on Theology and Doctrine. If a quiz on the Basic Bible Doctrines was the standard or measure of my faith, I believe I would do well. The problem is that the standard or measure of my faith is based on my actions or behavior.
James puts is so clearly when he says that faith, apart from works is dead. If we say we are a believer and have all knowledge and understand all mysteries, and do not put that faith into practice in a tangible, real way, then our faith is useless, a sounding gong or tinkling cymbal.
Our belief in Christ is more than a series of tenets or precepts. It is an expression of Christ dwelling within us. We are to live a life that demonstrates the work of the Savior and not just the precepts of the Scriptures.