Doctrinal and Theological Vagueness
There is something of note that I have discovered lately in perusing the websites of various churches. It seems as though there are many churches that have not bothered to included a doctrinal statement on their website. One would wonder what the motivation behind such an omission would be? Contrary to what many would declare, the Bible clearly proclaims that doctrine is important (Jude 3; Rev. 22:18-19; 2 Pet. 3:14-18). Is the motivation not to offend those who have varying doctrinal stances? There are many things that have been practiced by churches since the day of Pentecost that are merely preferences rather than commands. Yet, there are many biblical issues that one must study to determine what he believes.
There were some doctrinal statements that were more like lyrics to a contemporary Christian song, than a fully developed statement of biblical beliefs. This has led me to believe that there is widespread Theological ignorance at the highest levels of many local churches. I recently read of the contemporary disdain for history. Mankind has concluded that they know more than any generation before and therefore have no need to learn from our ancestors. This reminds me of a plaque that was hung in the classroom of my high school history teacher. It read as follows, “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” This chronological snobbery has invaded the church. Evangelical Christians believe they are “rootless” and are out to discover what is best for the church. The truth is that the Bible contains a great deal of historical information from which we must learn, so that we may be able to live a life that truly glorifies God (Rom. 15:4; 4:23-25; 1 Cor. 10:6-13). A large number of evangelical Christians are not only ignorant of the Old Testament, which gives us a proper foundation for and understanding of the New Testament, but we are ignorant of Church history. Church history is littered with examples of good and bad Theology. It contains pictures of how the Church was affected by its culture during history. It is to our detriment that we are unaware of these valuable lessons.
Maybe this current climate of Theological vagueness, which is also evidenced in so much of contemporary Christian music, is a symptom of a greater problem. It seems as though we are spending more time trying to “figure out” how to “grow” local churches, than we are spending time growing in our knowledge of and intimacy with the God of the Bible. God seems to be more of an accessory in our local churches, rather than the centerpiece. Maybe this is why we are Theologically vague. We are unsure of the importance of biblical doctrine. We are unsure of the value of Theology. We have come to believe that the “study of God” is not very exciting and not very relevant. We seem to have made ourselves the centerpiece of local churches. Why study God’s Word to know God when our concerns and lives are more important? There are a large number who come to local churches for the purpose of learning more about their potential and their circumstances. If a local church is to focus on God and the proclamation of His Word, may view that local church as irrelevant.
If one seeks answers from Scripture, it would seem that Theological vagueness has resulted from professing Christians worshiping self, rather than the Triune God.