Have you ever heard the saying, “Ignorance is bliss”? I think there are times that the saying is very true. Case in point, having not been raised in a house where theology was a big part when people start throwing around Christian theological terms I rarely have any idea what they are talking about.
For instance; baptismal regeneration, or the belief that baptism is necessary for salvation, or even more precisely, that regeneration does not occur until a person is water baptized. I had no idea for quite a while that this thought process even existed in the Christian church. I had been taught that salvation came because of grace through faith and accepting Jesus as my Lord and Savior. It appears that this belief comes from taking scripture and not applying it with its surrounding context and historical background. I know one of the big passages that is used to support this thought process is Acts 2:38 when Peter is speaking to the Jews at Pentecost. The Jews ask how they can correct the fact that they were the ones who put Jesus to death and he says, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Jews did not baptize at all, so Peter was telling them to repent of their sins and then show their repentance by an outward sign…baptism.
One of the ones that puzzles me the most is the difference camps as to when the Rapture will happen. I didn’t even know what the rapture was till I read and was fortunate enough to attend a Bible study on the book of Revelation. There is the Pre-Trib (tribulation-the 7 year period before the return of Christ for his 1,000 reign) camp, the Mid-Trib camp and then the Post-Trib camp. I am firmly in the former most camp and don’t exactly get how people could justify being in the others, but the real issue is do you know that you WILL be raptured.
Then there are the Calvinists versus the Arminiusts. This one still confuses me in the most confounding way. I know the acronym TULIP, is involved along with predestination and election sure, but to me a tulip is a pretty flower and I in a sense elected to follow Jesus, He sure as heck would not have wanted to follow me, because that would have required a very large shovel to clean up my mess.
I think my favorite is when I am around believers who have been in the church for years or almost since birth and they start to name drop. Suddenly I am that friend that becomes a bobble head doll that nods with a stupid grin on my face like I have a clue who you are talking about. Make no mistake I know the TV evangelist’s names, most especially the ones that have taken Christianity and made it a business instead of a deep abiding faith and using a spiritual gift of teaching. But ask me who Spurgeon was or Jim Rayburn and I would only be able to tell you one is a name I have seen in commentaries, other than if you don’t know you have come to the wrong place, in other words, “Who you talking bout?”
The good part about all the ambiguity and personal spin is, if we have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior in our hearts all the rest is pretty much window dressing and won’t matter when we stand before God and we hopefully hear, “Well done good and faithful servant.”