If you consider yourself a Christian, this blog is for you. If you don’t yet know and love Jesus Christ, now is a great time to ask yourself who you believe Jesus to be, and more importantly why you hold those beliefs.
I am a Christian. I unashamedly declare my deep, passionate love for Jesus. Coming to know him has already radically transformed my life over the past seven years. However words would utterly fail me if I tried to describe to you how much God really loves you. Language is woefully inadequate to explain how much his heart aches and burns for this fallen, broken world which has been under siege by the powers of darkness since time immemorial.
Syria is on my heart as I write. At the moment, I am attending university as a part time theology student, doing one of the residential elements to my course. One of the tutors is an Anglican priest, who just happens to be Syrian. He led us all in prayer for his nation and we have also taken time to pray in classes. It was a very powerful, and moving time. (That’s right, we talk to God as part of our formal education during lectures. It’s theology, go figure.)
Over the past 24 hours, there have been dramatic developments regarding the UK involvement in the Syria crisis. Our parliament has voted against direct military intervention at this time. I strongly believe that this is a result of earnest prayer from a multitude of believers across the globe, coupled with the cries of the afflicted and the oppressed.
God hears us.
As I’ve been pondering this, it struck me that many of the people I have joined in prayer with won’t hold identical theology to me. In fact, we may not see eye to eye on a vast range of doctrinal perspectives. Despite this obvious fact, God listens. He acts.
Jesus didn’t save me because I had good doctrine. In fact, he rescued me from a sinful, destructive, sad and lonely lifestyle that was becoming increasingly desperate and negative. He saved me. Since then, we’ve been working on my doctrine. We still are.
I haven’t always modeled a healthy, loving, respectful and gentle way of disagreeing with many of you over points of doctrine. I’m sure that I have wound up and offended too many people over the past two years despite knowing that the Bible says plainly that God hates it when somebody stirs up discord amongst brothers.
Instead of building bridges I have dug out trenches and fired potshots at what I perceive to be liberal theology on Twitter and Facebook. Quite frankly, this behavior has been pathetic. Where I have offended and/or hurt any of you in this way, I am sorry and I repent. If I have implied that you are guilty by association with particular writers, thinkers, theologians, denominations and/or movements, I am genuinely sorry.
In the meantime, the world burns and we argue. This is not a good response to the incredible love, grace, and mercy of Jesus Christ. Creation needs us to cry out to God. It’s our responsibility to intercede on behalf of the nations. Including our own.
Brothers and Sisters, will you join with me in praying for Syria? I know that with many of you, I may not see eye to eye theologically. We may disagree on many issues. Yet Christ prayed for unity in the church. It may take generations to see that hope realised. We can participate in making that reality transpire. Jesus promised to build his church. He is more than capable.
There is a time and a place for thrashing out theology. Yet our allegiance to particular doctrines, traditions and ideologies must be trumped by our allegiance to the Kingdom of God, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and his mission on the earth. Let’s call a ceasefire and focus our energies on more important issues. Right now, let’s cry out for Syria, and Egypt, and our own nation. All countries need Jesus.
Brothers and Sisters, let us pray.