When I was in seminary, I had a friend who decided to bring his wife to class one day. Like so many of us, he was indebted to his bride for working full-time so that he could attend school. She had a day off from work, and he thought it would be great if she saw what her hard-earned paycheck was paying for. He also had an ulterior motive: He chose to take her to Systematic Theology class, thinking, "This is the hardest class I have. When she sees how difficult this is, she'll really be impressed with me." But his well-laid plan had an effect he did not foresee. After sitting through an hour and half lecture on the different theories of obscure theological issues, she said to her husband, "How is any of this relevant for ministry? When will you ever use any of this? I think maybe we're just wasting our money here..."
My friend managed to convince his wife that his theological education was worth finishing, so we were able to laugh at that story later, but it brings up an important point: Does theology really matter? We live in an age when younger Christians don't care about denominations or doctrines. There are good things about this development: There is much less strife between different groups of Christians, and much more cooperation among the churches than there used to be. This generation of believers puts much more stock on changing the world in Christ's name than on merely having correct beliefs, and that is an encouraging change. HOWEVER...what we believe about God really does matter.
This Sunday, we'll begin a new series of messages called "Where Is God?" It's a study of the life of Joseph, from Genesis 37-50. Joseph experienced some incredible hardships that very likely caused him to question what he believed about God. We can learn from his life. If you're unfamiliar with the Joseph story, get ready for one of the most exciting stories you've ever heard. If--like so many of us--you've heard this one many times, I am hoping we can shed a new light on a familiar tale, and more importantly, help each of us examine what we know about God.
Jesus said, "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free." It DOES matter what you believe. I hope to see you for each of these messages.
October 24: Where Is God When Life Doesn’t Make Sense? Gen. 37
October 31: Where Is God When It’s Hard to do Right? Gen. 39
November 7: Where Is God When We Feel Forgotten? Gen. 40
November 14: Where Is God When It’s Hard to Forgive? Gen. 42-45
November 21: Where Is God When We Doubt? Gen. 50:15-21