But what about “spiritual truths”? In the previous entry, “Revisiting the Knothole“, I explained why I believe my Master reveals more of Himself through others than He does through me personally. But that’s not the whole story, it can’t be. There’s a question I left hanging in the air that I intentionally avoided. If our Teacher is the Holy Spirit, then why do disciples of Jesus disagree so often about theological points?
I mentioned three systematic theological categories, ecclesiology, anthropology, and soteriology. I also mentioned that I differ from a lot of people in those categories. So, how is that possible? If the same Spirit teaching me is the same spirit teaching those who differ in how they define those categories, then who’s right? Think through that quote from Jeremiah again:
“FOR THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL AFTER THOSE DAYS, SAYS THE LORD: I WILL PUT MY LAWS INTO THEIR MINDS, AND I WILL WRITE THEM ON THEIR HEARTS. AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE." Hebrews 8:10 (NASB, emphasis mine)
We make a lot of the fact that our Creator will “write” on our hearts, and “put” into our minds, but we don’t really think through what He writes and puts. His “law” is what He puts in our minds and writes on our hearts. As disciples of Jesus, we aren’t subject to the law, though. Well, we’re not subject to the old law as a means of righteousness, that’s true. But it seems that our Creator still has a set of standards for us as His disciples.
Notice what isn’t being written on our hearts: systematic theological categories. He doesn’t write on our hearts things like whether we can walk away from Jesus or not. He doesn’t write whether people have an extra-dimensional existence or not. He doesn’t write whether we can experience Him outside of a congregation of disciples or not. He’s not writing those things on our hearts. Instead, He inspired the vague answers we have in Scripture.
You see where I’m going with this? We know that we should be loving toward each other, because He has written that on our hearts. We know that we should serve one another, because He has written that on our hearts. And we know that He saves us from our failures in those areas because our Creator is merciful and forgiving. He is our Savior as well as Creator. That much we know from the presence of His Spirit. We are saved by grace through faith. And even that faith is a gift of the Spirit of our Savior.
Theological vagaries, these are not as important to our Creator. They can’t be. They’re simply areas where we live, walking about in His presence. And we do so together, each of us seeing a different aspect and truth of the same Creator and Savior, yet all consistent with the Spirit indwelling His disciples, and the Scripture He has inspired. Yet, this throng lives and moves, sharing partial views of this incomprehensible Person. And without the sharing, we limit our views of Him, for He is simply too vast for even Scripture (John 21:25).
Okay, that’s my view through the fence today. What do you see?
Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. Copyright by The Lockman Foundation