About a week ago a member of the church I used to attend rather accusingly asked me why I haven’t been to church. I was working and feeling harried. Without my usual check I blurted: “Because of doctrinal differences.” I forget the reply, but the condescending tone didn’t sit well with me. After all, I’ve come to my conclusion not to fellowship with them after deep Bible study, reflecting on my conscience, and other reflection. In any case I listed how they believed in the Trinity and a few other rather minor things I found are not a part of 1st century Christianity. I strive to be as close to the original Christianity as possible. I like the simplicity and lack of trappings.
Anyway, before walking away they said “I feel sorry for you.” The immediate judgment that I was hell bound (as the statement implied) troubled me. Not so much because I feel I am hell bound, but rather the lack of understanding, judgmental attitude, and close mindedness the statement shows. Basically that statement summed up the very reason why I cannot rightly fellowship anymore. It is unfortunately that people can be blinded by their faith. Faith is dangerous sometimes. We can easily believe something and close our minds to the possibility we are incorrect. Do I consider the possible I am incorrect? Certainly. That is why I study deeply; I try to discard the thoughts that can distort understanding, like the idea of the Trinity. I also try to study the Bible texts as original as I can find them. There are many very old finds archeology has found. They are worth studying and comparing to what we have.
At any case, the encounter troubled me with how closed minded we can be just because we believe. People believe what they believe because they think it true. People don’t knowingly believe a lie. Ultimately, we do not know what is Truth and what is simply belief. That is why we have to search for our entire lives. As soon as we think we know the truth, it opens the door to deception, ego, and judgmental attitudes. All of which go against what Jesus taught. As He said, we know people by their fruits. That is why I make an effort to surround myself with environments that foster mercy, compassion, and acceptance.