As you might have noticed, I’ve really enjoyed listening to Mark Driscoll as of late; particularly the series of lessons called “Religion Saves + 9 Other Misconceptions“. In the series Mark addresses a set of questions put to him by the members of the Mars Hill community (and beyond?). By the time I post this, I will have heard lesson #6, but before I do I thought that I would tap out my own response to the question.
01/27: #6 “Of all the things you teach, what parts of Christianity do you still wrestle with? What’s hardest for you to believe?”
The parts of Christianity that I still wrestle with are the ones that are transparent. “Love your neighbor as yourself.” This is not eschatology (end times), soteriology (nature of salvation) or any other hard to grasp “-ology”. Sure, we could hold forth on the various types of love signified by different Greek words and then try to identify exactly who my “neighbor” is, but in the end we would find that the statement stands as is. Love others as I love myself. I wrestle with that…and I often lose. There are lots of other teachings that are equally plain like; “husbands love your wives as your own body“, “fathers, do not exasperate your children“, “give to him who asks of you“, “bless and do not curse“, “do not store up treasure on earth“, “be doers of the word and not hearers only” and the list goes on.
As trite as this may sound, the hardest teaching of Christianity for me to believe is that God loves me. When I first began to think about what I would write in this post, this thought didn’t occur to me. Originally, I thought that that the hardest thing for me to believe was that God is more interested in my conforming to the likeness of Jesus than my “sound doctrine”. Then I asked myself why I spent so much energy on “getting it right”, that is pursuing right-thinking and I realized; at a gut-level, I still think that God will love me (more? better?) if my theology is right/good/sound. In short, after more than 20 years of belonging to Jesus, there’s a place deeper than my intellect where I don’t believe that God loves me…really…”Just As I Am“. While I know that God loves me (and all of His creation), this truth has not so fully penetrated my heart that it keeps me from emphasizing “sacrifice” over “mercy”.
Check back with me in another 20 years and maybe by then I will have finally gotten it.