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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

What knowledge awaits me?

There are so many questions in this life I live. Questions about things like love, faith, wisdom, friendship and so on. Many speak of heaven as a place where many things are set straight. The Bible tells me in

1 Corinthians 13:10-12 (NIV) For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but
when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked
like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a
man, I put childish ways behind me. 12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a
mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know
fully, even as I am fully kno
wn.
I realize that there is theological debate about this versus. From what I understand, the issue is about what is the perfect? But I am not going to debate that here. I do want to highlight for a moment the simple section about "I know in part; then I shall know fully." I want to couple that with a passage that the writer speaks on earlier in the same book. I wonder if he saw what was coming? The versus is

1 Corinthians 1:10(NIV)[ Divisions in the Church ] I appeal to you, brothers, in
the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so
that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in
mind and thought
.
I think that we have not done well in this area. In fact, I think, we have done just the opposite. We have argued theology to point that there are several divisions among us. Which denomination ("Christian") has the right theology? Now there is a question that no one can really answer for sure. Let's see, we have Lutherans, Baptist (actual several kinds of Baptists) Presbyterians, Charismatics, Non-Charismatics, Evangelical, Foursquare, Catholic and so on, you get the point I am sure. We have argued our points to the point of argument and division. Can anyone honestly tell me that our Christian house is not divided?

So, now to get to the point of my post "What knowledge awaits me?" If we know in part now, then what knowledge will we gain when we know in full? I wonder if an apologetic Calvin will come up and say sorry? Or if Luther will say that he did not realize the pain and suffering caused by his 99 thesis as Protestant and Catholic kill each other. I can not help but wonder how all this theological debating will hold up then? I wonder if a life spent seeking the true/right theology will be a life wasted on foolishness when we all show up with the countless "least of these" (Matthew 25:34 Any Version). Don't get me wrong, I realize that we need some guidance from elders so we do not inadvertently follow false prophets and the like. But how can there be so much division with in our own ranks. Give me some theology that I can apply to feeding the poor, sick, and tired masses. Why do we always want to "save" everyone and then leave them to their vices? Where is the long term theology that teaches us how to care for each other? I do not need to be spiritually smart, I need to be spiritually compassionate (faith, love and hope), or at least that is what it seems Jesus was talking about in Matthews recounting. I have no doubt that some of the knowledge that awaits me will shatter my heart. The world is weeping for help and we give them great theology. I don't know maybe it is just me, but I don't think that is going to cut it. I guess I want some kind of hope that the millions of dollars spent on Bible college tuition is building a church that applies it's theology opposed to only praying that God will send someone else to help the "least" of these. What do you think?

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