This past weekend I commented to someone about how very kind and generous another person was. The response I received was, “Yes, but did you know he doesn’t believe exactly the way we do.”
That response set off a flurry of thoughts. I don’t know where to begin. But I’ll try. #1. I wasn’t talking about the person’s theology. I was commenting on his character. #2. The negativity sought to cancel the positive. #3. Should the nice person’s theology matter at all? #4. The heresy police are still with us. #5. Is orthodoxy more important than character? #6. I doubt if any of us believe “exactly” like another. Does that make us all heretics to each other?
It is not that I think truth is unimportant. It is indeed. Without truth we would be at sea without a rudder. What I do want to emphasize is priorities? Character ranks above all else. A person with character is safe to be near even if he is not orthodox. A person steeped in truth can be dangerous if he does not have a Christ-like character.
Jesus never said, “Hereby shall men know you are my disciples if you have all truth.” What He did say was, “Hereby shall men know you are my disciples if you have love for one another.”
And finally, which one of us knows all things exactly right? When we get to heaven we are going to get a lesson in what is really right from the One who knows all things. The irony in this is I am espousing a truth that people are more important that dogma which makes it part of my dogma.
Written by Roger Bothwell on March 10, 2015
Spring of Life, PO Box 124, St. Helena, CA 94574