EVANGELICAL THOUGHT-POLICE: IS IT A NEW GIFT?
Once in a while I'll surf around the theological blog world to see what's being discussed. Many bloggers are commenting on "the emergent movement/church/conversation." I think this is healthy because good, respectful dialogue sharpens all in the discussion.
What I find alarming are "the evangelical thought-police." Some bloggers take it upon themselves to insist that there is only one way (their way) to understand a debatable Scripture passage or a certain doctrine under discussion.
These choppy blog waters include "Is Tony Jones a Christian?" "Is Richard Foster introducing 'New Age' practices into the church?" "How heretical is Rick Warren?" "Can there really be a 'saved' Catholic?" "Hell and Open Theism are Twins." "Luther, Calvin and Zwingli are the Incarnate Trinity." [These are my own summations of a few hot topics.]
And it's not just in the blogosphere. I have a friend who very recently told me that he was warned that if someone denies the pre-Trib rapture, they can't be saved. Hot-diggity.
Self-appointed evangelical thought-police, serving as junior holy spirits, need to be reminded that only the Word of God, the Bible, is inspired. Every theological statement, a mere human-being crafted statement, is tainted with fallenness and finiteness. And theological "systems" carry systemic, fallible fissures of massive proportions. Everything is open to discussion.
Now, before some reader has a fit, I'm not saying all theological statements are useless, unprofitable or erroneous. That would be stupid to say. But all topics are open for discussion.
It seems that the thought-police speak from a platform of absolute rightness. Their views, in their thinking, are on equal ground as the very inspired Word of God! I find it ironic that the present day thought-police, who for some reason still have it in for the Catholics, are acting more and more like the rigid Catholic leaders of Luther's day: "You can't think that, Martin Luther!" "You can't write that, Martin Luther!" "You can't teach that, especially to our children, Martin Luther!" It's almost comical...and is very sad.
Yet, for some, it appears that policing others is their divine right and saving mission. But be warned, their right(eous) views and righteous motives transform them into the deadliest of all Christians---crusaders.