Sometimes I struggle to find my place in the crowd. So often I don’t fit in or feel like I belong. For me and maybe for you too it’s easier to know what group I don’t identify with than to actually find one that I do identify with. I have friends and acquaintances living all along this crazy theological spectrum we try to label each other with.
To be honest, religion makes my skin crawl. I’ve been to plenty of denominational and religious meetings over the years. It’s all pretty much the same – puffed up, mask wearing, religious talking, self-centered, and always right.
I can’t identify with fundamentalism. I’m too easily irked by the mean spirited judgmental legalism. Where was Jesus a legalist? He ran away from religious fundamentalism. But, the fundamentalist doesn’t get it – especially grace. If our relationship were justified by rules, there’s no purpose in the cross and Jesus came for nothing.
I can’t identify with liberalism either. There’s no substance or Spirit in liberalism. Liberals are more concerned about man-made doctrines and personal rights than the righteousness of God. It’s as if liberalism invites spiritualism because they’re seeking a substitute for the Spirit that departed long ago. There’s no power or the moving of God in liberalism, but a man-centered theology.
Where are the conservative, Christ centered, gospel driven, and grace oriented theologians and practitioners? Where are the simple Christ followers?
Then again, maybe it’s not about identifying with a group, but sharing and living the gospel with people that have only identified Christianity with mean fundamentalists or lame liberals.