If you have not seen the video linked in my personal profile, take a minute to watch it. It's only 30 seconds long. That's what I do for a living. I wept when they made me take this job, but feeding my family was not a debatable point, so I did it. 16 of us SCM professionals do a job that none of us had any clue how to do when we started.
What do we do? We say, "No," to some of the most creative, resourceful, and opinionated people I have ever met - professional programmers. If you don't know what SCM is I will spare you the tedious explanation, but we ask those free spirited programmers to package and document their every move for us. We are like the accounting trolls from Dilbert fame set loose in the programmers' idyllic domain.
We were clueless when we started. I had to invent processes, rules, loopholes, and tools daily to even have a hope of succeeding. I then had to sell those nasty and unpopular inventions to my own people, and then to the programmers. If an idea was tailored for either group, the other group would have GOOD reason to scream bloody murder.
I believe the Familyhood Church will look a lot like this.
Throw together Calvinists and Arminians, Dispensationalists and Amillenialists, Pentacostals and Cessationists, and what do you get? You get a mess. But that's where I want to live, and that's where I believe we all need to be living. Doctrine is secondary.
James 1:27 TNIV
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
Primary is being knit together as one body with those closest to us. Primary is love being shown for the Lord, for each other, before our neighbors, and to our neighbors. Primary is being alive because we have been born from above.
Still, if I assert that doctrine is secondary, please know I don't say it is trivial. Doctrine is like those processes I have to sell every day. What works great for a programmer will prevent my SCM professionals from succeeding at their job. What works great for an SCM'er makes that poor programmer spend two hours doing paperwork for a five-minute fix. Likewise, what makes an Arminian glow with praise to the Lord makes a Calvinist ashamed. What thrills an Amillenialist is an insult to God in a Dispensationalist's mind.
If it were easy, everyone would be doing it!
So how do we succeed? Can it be done? Can you throw Christians together just because they worship the same Lord, and expect them to survive as a church?
Why sure! I have seen it work for our programmers and SCMers, and I have seen it start to work between Christians. It can be done.
(And the answer is not that "the truth is somewhere in the middle." I despise that phrase. The Truth is never between two wrong positions. The Truth is exactly what it was in eternity past, and exactly what it will be in eternity future.)
Involvement is the key.
When theologians set the denominational agenda, you have no involvement. You can simply choose to go with this batch, or that batch of theologians. That will not work with brothers and sisters in a neighborhood. Everyone needs to be involved.
You probably go to your denomination because you believe they are right. I am going to ask you to consider the possibility that there are more important things than being right. I am going to challenge you that being involved in what your church believes is probably more valuable to you and to everyone else than being right, even if it means being wrong for a little while! I am also going to contend that this can really be done.
Once again, I had no idea this was going to go multiple posts, but this is more than enough typing for the moment. I am running late out in the real world.
Thanks for reading!