Use the Bible as a bridge to the culture, not as a barricade against it. To do otherwise puts us on the same ground as another religious group Jesus had strong views against. (Here’s a list of the Top 10 Things Pharisees Say Today.)
And it was never about what you know or don’t know, but about what God knows and who God loves.
2. Truth Without Grace
In a similar vein, being all about truth is a problem, as well.
I love how John phrases the arrival of Jesus: that Jesus came filled with truth and grace.
One of the things I love most about Jesus is that truth is never separated from grace, and grace is never separated from truth. He was always grace-filled as he spoke what is true…in that the truth is always designed to lead toward grace.
Yet some “mature” people feel it’s OK to land on one side of the equation. I’m a truth person, we tell people. No…maybe you’re just a jerk. (And I say this as a guy who leans on the truth side of the equation.)
Whenever I am tempted to speak truth, I always have to come before God to ensure it is equally motivated by grace.
Could you imagine if we all did?
3. Grace Without Truth
The opposite of course is also true. In the same way truth isn’t truth without grace, grace isn’t grace when separated from truth. Some “mature” people on the other side of the theological spectrum avoid the truth side of the equation as though love floats with no backbone.
No, grace has a backbone. We nailed it to the cross.
You cannot separate grace from truth any more than you can separate truth from grace. It is an incredibly difficult line to find, but we must find it. Grace without truth isn’t maturity any more than truth without grace is truth. Clearly, we need a Savior on this issue. And it’s a good thing for us He embodies both.
4. Harshness Toward Outsiders While Cutting Insiders Slack
Many people who consider themselves spiritually mature love to talk about how awful the world is. And it is pretty terrible. Pick a headline almost any day. It’s awful. God identified that as early as Genesis 6 (and if you take our theology seriously, he always knew it would be this way, which is a little mind-bending if you think about it). The passage from Genesis is worth quoting: