Does theology matter? Dr. Browning’s sermon this past Sunday was thought provoking. I certainly agree with his assessment that there are pieces of theology that are too dense and arcane to wrap my mind around.
For many of us, church is just something we do. Like mowing the lawn, taking a shower or going to work, our religious life isn’t always something we think about. We have an inherent sense that it is right and good to go. But often the thought process stops there. How often do we really question what we believe?
In some communities of faith, questioning is tantamount to heresy. You’re merely expected to show up and take what’s given you without thought or question. The person in the pulpit has far more authority than you, so sit there and listen like a good congregation.
But how wise is it to blindly follow someone just because the appear to be an “authority?” One look at Nazi Germany and we get a taste of just how bitter that policy can turn out.
The extreme example of Fred Phelps and Westboro Baptist church comes to mind. The members of that church are there for any number of reasons I won’t attempt to guess. Yet it’s safe to say they blindly follow Phelp’s hate-filled crusade against the LGBT community in the name of God.
I find it incredible that these folks have so twisted Jesus’s words to blame the Gay Community for all of America’s ills. How does a message of love and peace become one of hate and animosity towards a fraction of the populace?
For some of us, it defies logic that Phelps’s game of suing community after community for violating his First Amendment rights is seen as God’s work rather than a lucrative scheme for a disbarred lawyer. Talk about blind faith.
You may be scratching your head thinking this example is one that would indicate theology is bad and shouldn’t matter. But I submit I’m arguing the opposite. Letting a so-called authority dictate theological doctrine to you is what is bad. Understanding theological doctrine so that you can make informed decisions about your faith practices is good.
Blessed be those who question. They shine a light for those of us too shy to find the switch for ourselves.