"Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should."The church, theology, and spiritual truths can be mysterious, elusive, and mystifying—especially when teachers make them that way, or they themselves don't understand them. (Matthew 23:13) Paul prayed for clarity, to be able to share the love of God in a way that is clearly grasped and taken to heart. Theological discussions are fine, but when they obscure the real message and keep us from personally connecting, then such lofty dialogues are more likely to turn into debates in which the end goal is to win an argument rather than to love one another.
Someone passed the following on to me, from a graffiti wall at St. John's University in Minnesota:
"Jesus said, 'Who do you say that I am?" And they replied, 'You are the eschatological manifestation of the ground of our being, the 'kerygma' in which we find the ultimate meaning of our interpersonal relationships.' And Jesus said, 'What?'"
As grace flows through our hearts, may it also flow out in kind, thoughtful, interesting words that express the Gospel in a way that intrigues, cares, and reaches the hearts of people. That kind of conversation is never boring.
If you ever find yourself on the receiving end of a confusing or even hostile theological discussion or debate, please remember this: the Bible is rich with philosophy, history, poetry, and deep, sometimes mysterious, spiritual truths. But in the end, it is God's Word and it is accessible to people of all levels of intellect, age, race, or cultural background. Its ultimate message has been sung by countless children throughout the ages.
"Christ said, 'Feed my sheep... Feed My Lambs.' Some preachers, however, put the food so high that neither lambs nor sheep can reach it. They seem to have read the text, 'Feed my giraffes.'"—Charles Spurgeon