Theology in its most basic form is just a study of God and His relationship to the world. It is clearly an important part of Christian faith. But in the church today, theological systems have divided the body of Christ, been elevated to the level of scripture, and taught as gospel truth. In these systems, people who have concerns about a specific theology are discouraged from speaking. The congregation is mostly expected to accept the answers given by those in authority in the specific theological system they are within. Over the years, I’ve been in several different churches with different theological systems. While I was encouraged to read and study the Bible myself in each of them, I understood there were certain beliefs I needed to hold, even when I found verses in scripture that seemed to contradict them.
I’m not here to tell you what your theology should be. Rather, I’d like to offer a safe space for you to honestly look at your theology, and perhaps even rebuild it from the ground up. You see, when you just adopt the theologies of the church you grew up in, or the family you were born into, or the church you are currently in, you are neglecting your own role in your faith.
There are certain guidelines you should consider following as you read through the Bible and build new theologies.
- Is this in line with what Jesus did and said in the gospels? (Jesus was the perfect representation of the Father – Hebrews 1:3 & Colossians 1:15)
- Do you have the Holy Spirit living in you to help you understand? (John 16:13 & 1 Corinthians 2:6-16)
- Is it in line with the rest of the New Testament as the Apostles taught the early church the basics of the Christian faith?
There are certain things you should not allow to dictate your theology.
- Your own personal experiences – Instead of creating theology around your understanding of your experiences, look in God’s word and ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand what God says about your experiences.
- Religious institutions – While churches and Christian groups can help lead us to God and are an important part of our Christian life, we are responsible to build our own relationship with God and study His word for ourselves. Jesus was often critical of the religious system of His own time because it was not correctly reflecting God’s heart for His people or accurately teaching them about God.
If you have thoughts or questions about theology, we’d love for you to engage in discussion in our community!