There is a move in churches from the complex to the simple. We have spent so many years discussing fine tuned doctrines and what makes this church distinctive from that church. It seems to me that many churches and Christians are moving from the complex web of doctrines to a more simple approach to Christianity that is more Christ-centered and less Paul-centered. It kind of reminds me of the time Jesus was asked about the greatest commandment in all the Law and he boiled it down to two and they both had to do with love. It seems like for many years we have tried to get the head right and have developed complex webs of doctrine but may have missed getting the heart right. Jesus sums up all the law, all the requirements, all the fine-tuned rules and regulations of the Torah into two simple and basic requirements. He took the complex and made it simple. The elemental truths of the gospel are pretty straight forward. We are often the ones who make it complicated and get it all jumbled up.
I think this transition is refreshing. Our identity is not to be summed up in psalo or eis debates. It is summed up in the identity of Jesus Christ as we try to become more and more like him.
If I could some up genuine Christianity it would be in the statement of Jesus found in John 14:15 “If you love me, you will obey what I command.”
All schisms, tumult and abrasions come from not applying this simple verse.
but, jason, what command was jesus talking about in that context?
far as i can tell, jesus had just minutes before given them one very specific command: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34-35).
i cannot imagine the disciples hearing jesus in chapter 14 and not knowing that he meant specifically what he had commanded them to do at the end of chapter 13 — which i think it what matt’s getting at.
Matt, you have really hit the nail on the head with this one!
“It seems like for many years we have tried to get the head right and have developed complex webs of doctrine but may have missed getting the heart right.”
This statement couldn’t be more true!