A conversation, a teaching time and a magazine article have led me to ponder a question this week. How do I avoid worshiping a doctrine as an idol?
A few ideas have come to mind. First of all, I believe it is important to remember that anytime mankind takes a look at scripture and makes decisions about what they understand the Word of God to say they risk being only partially correct. I think the Lord I worship is so complex that to determine that I can sum Him and His teachings up is at best persumptuous. So I allow myself to consider doctrines and listen to how they were arrived at. But when I camp, when I dwell, when I worship I do that based on my relationship with God. I have seen evidence that if I worship a doctrine I run the risk of becoming arrogant and self-righteous.
Thinking about a doctrine is usually an intellectual exercise. Consistently this exercise has a pattern. I read a doctrine. I read the defense of the doctrine. I read the verses used to defend the doctrine. Usuall, I come to the end of the arguement thinking I can see why someone could arrive at that belief. But then that next thing almost always happens. "But what about this passage or this verse?" Right now I am more afraid of what I will miss if I ignore that last question then what I will gain by being rigid in my interpretation of God's Word.
I hope this perspective invites a walk with God that is marked with humility, because this requires me to pay close attention to the Lord. It is my hearts desire to have a relationship with and to be a worshipper of God not doctrine.