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Does Your Theology Wreak Havoc?

NOTE: This article originally appeared on Scott Postma’s blog.

Theology and its close cousin doctrine have raised havoc in the church for more than 2,000 years.

These antagonists have severed relationships between friends and families, have been catalysts for countless wars throughout history, and will indubitably be the primer for more conflict in the future.

You would think enough is enough!

There are many who would like to see the church stop preaching doctrine, stop arguing about theology, and just love God and love others the way Jesus said to.

Aside from such a premise itself being theologically qualitative, a recent conversation I had with a friend highlights the reason theology is necessary—and likewise, very practical—for cultivating a robust faith and a fruitful life.

“At least you two are still together after more than 20 years,” she said. “See, you even read the Bible together as a family. Your kids have some spiritual influence into their lives.”

Normally, those words would have been a compliment. And I’m sure they were meant to be to some degree. But mostly, it was the toxic ejaculation of a wounded heart.

My friend went through a bitter divorce a few years back and was, as you might expect, deeply wounded by the experience. She and her husband were high school sweethearts. They were both successful in their respective careers. They had a beautiful family that was by all indications faithfully committed to Christ.

Devastating pain.

After almost 20 years of marriage, her husband cheated and then walked out.

She made a valiant effort to restore the marriage. She prayed. She fasted. She loved him on purpose. She extended forgiveness when it wasn’t easy and he didn’t want it.

Unfortunately, he was as committed to ending the relationship as she was to saving it. He abandoned her, his children and any faith in Christ he previously confessed.

It was devastating!

“I’m jaded!” she said. “I know I am. But I can’t help it. I’m pissed at God.”

“I understand,” I said.

“I did everything I was supposed to do, and God let my cheating, narcissist ex-husband rob me of my youth; he let him rob my kids of their one and only childhood. None of them even have a heart for God, now. They’re jaded too. God completely let us down!”

“I’m sorry for what happened to you; I can’t imagine how painful it was and is,” I said. “But do you really think God let you down?”

“Well, here I am, mid-point in my life. I’m starting over and have nothing to show for the last 20 years!” she said.

“I wanted a successful marriage. I fought for it. I wanted to grow old together with a man who loved me and our kids—I wanted a man my kids’ kids would want to call grandpa. Now, what do I have to look forward to?

I’m not getting any younger, and every eligible man I’ve met about my age is a train wreck. And sorry, no offense, but men are all liars!

I don’t pray anymore. It’s useless. It’s a waste of time. God doesn’t answer any of my prayers! I may be saved; but I guess I don’t deserve to succeed in this life.”