There’s often a tone of arrogance that can come out when Christians gather together. Disabled and blinded by a lack of humility, we get caught up in personal convictions and preferences of how everyone should believe or how things should be done. The arrogant Christian is quick to become overly passionate about theology, or worse, quick to argue and correct everyone else on how wrong his or her theology is. I see this often in my own community. I’m not sure if this happens more in reformed circles or those who are reformed happen to be the more vocal of Christians. There is often a smug attitude of being or acting as if being reformed makes us (me included) more right because I have this certain understanding of Scripture.
Here is my confession:
I’ve been the person to argue, correct people and be prideful over theology. I didn’t grow up in a reformed church. Actually, I didn’t even know what the word "reformed" meant until my freshmen year of college. At that point of entering college all I knew was that I was a sinner who needed a Savior and deeply wanted to know the Lord more. When someone asked me, “Are you reformed?” I was so confused. "Reformed" was not even a part of my vocabulary. Not only was I trying to find my classes on campus but I now had to also figure out if I was "reformed." Great!
Many people quickly explained why I should be reformed and made me feel like I had to figure it out. Even non-reformed people would ask, but in a different manner. They instantly had their guard up ready to either debate on cue or run in the opposite direction. It wasn’t until two older friends in college kindly sat with me, shared scripture with me, gave encouragement and pointed me back to God's Word that I knew where I stood on the issue. Neither pressed me to make a decision. Instead they trusted the Holy Spirit to guide me in studying The Bible. Through studying various passages over time I eventually realized the Bible did in fact teach "reformed" theology.
Then it happened. Almost over night.
I went home for Christmas break and told everyone in my family they were wrong. I told my parents they didn’t understand Scripture correctly; we debated and argued passionately. I’m the youngest in my family and the only girl, so you can imagine this went over really well. I knew I was right and they were wrong. Everyone in my family is educated and intelligent in their own right, but that wasn't a consideration of mine. I became focused on being right and correcting my family, losing focus on what was most important.
Later on that year one of my brothers pointed out that what really mattered wasn’t my family’s theological views on certain Scriptures and where they stood with predestination, but that they were actually Christians. That they knew and believed that Jesus is Lord was the main issue.
I was instantly humbled.
When we teach people solely out of personal convictions and don't trust the work of the Holy Spirit, we are robbing others of freedom to respond to the Word of God and develop their own convictions in order to build relationship with Christ, pursue obedience and personally experience God's grace.
This is why I am excited about a book that is soon to be released next week. Proof , written by Daniel Montgomery and Timothy Paul Jones, quickly points back to the grace we often leave out of our reformed theology. It invites us to experience, live, and delight richly in the grace of God. Let’s remember to respond to other out of the grace and love we have received and no longer be arrogant to the family of Christ.
On that note, we are giving away 2 free copies of Proof: Finding Freedom through the Intoxicating Joy of Irresistible Grace by Daniel Montgomery and Timothy Jones! To win a copy, share this post by tagging #gtgiveaway and follow Gospel Taboo on Facebook and Twitter @gospeltaboo. Two winners will be announced on Tuesday, May 27th.