Wanna know the downside to having a theology degree?
Whenever you have a conversation about what is or is not in the Bible, your argument is invalid because your argument "comes from your mind and not your heart".. If you make a statement about something that doesn't follow along with what everyone else believes, it's because they believe that your statement has come from something you have learned from reading a book and therefore does not come from a place of love..
That's pretty much what I have observed..
Now, keep in mind, the majority of my experience comes from conversing with those who observe a more charismatic belief.
But then I joined a couple bible groups online, and also started to meet people of other denominations in Omaha personally.. No, I didn't meet people online and then agree to meet them in person, that would be weird, and probably really stupid..
I met them at churches I have visited since leaving the church, on Sunday mornings, Wednesday evenings, etc..
After spreading out my Christian network (for lack of a better word) to Christians outside of the charismatic church I have discovered that they are not put off by any theological observation I have offered to the conversation, Why? What's the difference? Why can I have a discussion with these people and offer my opinion on what the Bible does and does not say, or what the Bible does or does not mean, and no one is bothered by it at all; but then I can say the very same thing to someone from a charismatic church and all of a sudden I'm not speaking in love and I'm just "spouting off my theology" which "isn't really what is important"?
Apparently, "what is important" isn't what you know, it's how you feel..
*insert internal groan here*
Do you know what is really funny to me? Conversations that I have about the Bible, what I say about it; what is true or what is not, what is heresy and what is not, none of it comes from what I have learned in theology school..
Ok, maybe if we were talking about what systematic theology is and how it is used, and for what purpose; that would be me using what I have learned in theology school to participate in the conversation..
But just a personal conversation about what is truth and what is not? Or a conversation about what is in the character of God and what is not? None of that comes from anything I have learned in theology class.
It has ALL come from reading the Bible..
Here we have a book called Jesus calling by Sarah Young.
This book is full of heresies..
Now, the church I recently left is going through this book for the second time..
The reason I know this book is full of lies and blasphemies against Jesus is not because I study theology.. It has nothing to do with anything I have learned while I was earning my first degree, or anything I have learned so far while attempting to earn a master's degree.
I know that this book is false because I read the Bible, and the Bible says to take everything and compare it with scripture.
So that's what I did..
Now I have to confess that while I was reading this book, I thought it was great! I really liked it.. It made me feel good.. I even posted pictures of certain pages because I was so moved by what I read..
Don't think I'm not incredibly embarrassed about that now.. I am..
But then I went through the book again and compared the things in the book with the Bible..
The things that I know about the Bible; most of it doesn't come from studying theology.. It comes from reading the Bible over and over. It comes from praying for wisdom and knowledge, and understanding of the Bible before I read it (something I did not do when I read Jesus Calling).. It comes from putting other things aside and making the Bible a priority. It comes from not believing everything what someone else tells me about it, but actually taking the time to read it myself.
Now, why can say these things to any Christian outside of a charismatic church and none of them will be offended, or come back at me for being too theological?
*to be continued*