I love my job. I get to talk about Jesus and teach the Bible. I am called upon to sing with elderly saints and welcome newborn babies into the world through child dedications. It is my honor to share some of life’s most precious moments with some of God’s precious people. I am also privileged to come alongside people as they wrestle with deep questions. I receive emails and text messages from various people to whom I have ministered. It is a joy to see people wanting to understand what the Bible says. I get questions about marriage, raising children, finances, managing a business, and many on doctrine and theology.
I tend to geek out on doctrine and theology, but I don’t really enjoy debates. Nobody seems to win a debate anyway. Both sides just become further entrenched in their own viewpoints, and they often get angry with each other. However, I do love mature conversations where we respectfully work together to better understand the Bible. Some topics seem to stir people up more than others. Spiritual gifts, eschatology, baptism, creation, and Biblical roles of men and women are just a few of the topics which are often hotly debated. I was asked several different Bible questions just this week and was reminded of the beautiful simplicity of the cross.
There is nothing like hanging out near the cross. Gospel means good news, and the good news is found in Jesus Christ on the cross. I encourage people to wrestle with the deeper truths of God’s Word but let us guard against allowing anything to overshadow the simplicity of the cross. Salvation is found only in Jesus Christ. He paid the debt of our sin on the cross of Calvary, and we are saved when we place our trust in Him. Hanging out near the cross means that I absolutely have to get that one thing right. There is no room for compromise there. However, many of those other issues are part of our journey. They are important and worthy of our consideration, but nothing comes close to the beauty and critical nature of the cross.
There are plenty of opportunities to engage in theological debates. Most of the issues have been debated for 2000 years and many godly and intelligent people have failed to settle them. There must be room in God’s kingdom for people to disagree about the peripheral issues. The further an issue strays from the cross, the less likely I am to want to debate it. I might have well-informed and strong opinions, but that does not mean they are worth fighting over. But I will fight for the cross. Jesus died for me on that cross, and I won’t let that go. Neither should you.
1 Corinthians 2:2 – For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.