Contrarian. Me. When someone loathes a theology book, I am immediately made curious to read it. When someone tells me, for instance, that liberation theology is just Marxism dressed up in religious rhetoric, I have to find out for myself. When someone says so-and-so “cannot be a Christian, because they believe [fill in the blank],” I have to find out for myself what so-and-so said or wrote. Sometimes the critic turns out to have been right…. but more often I find that they (and yes, me too sometimes) operate out of a “trigger word” mentality. We hear a certain phrase and like a psychotic version of Pavlov’s dog, start slavering and showing our teeth and snapping at any outstretched hand. It is mindless. It is weird! And it short-circuits both truth and love.
We can never stop thinking, asking, examining. Yes, there is an Orthodoxy beyond which I do not desire to go… and that is the Gospel narrative of Christ’s words, example, life and death. But if Jesus actually walked this earth, leaving us his Holy Spirit when he physically left us, can we become less reactionary, less afraid, even as we become more fervent in loving Him? It is a balancing act… one we are assured we will *not* always pull off (1 John 1:8-10). Orthodoxy is rooted in our First Love, namely, Jesus Himself. So question everything in light of Love… not in the light of spiritual or political correctness, left, right, or in between. I fail in this often. How about you?