I recently had a brand new friend make an almost side remark in the middle of our conversation about Jesus that went something like this,
I’m not sure what your theology is, but it doesn’t matter!”
In context, the point was that my friend and I were learning about each other, but we were doing so fully from the lens of Jesus in each of us. The conversation was very deep, and very rich, and 100% about Him in each of our lives and experiences.
And it sort of dawned on us that, we had no concept of each other’s religious or church background, or specific branch of Christianity… theology, if you will…
…and… It. Did. Not. Matter. Because Jesus was the topic of conversation. Jesus, in fact was leading the conversation, revealing Himself in the middle of Facebook Messenger across time and space.
Like many Christians, I was birthed into and grew up in a certain “heritage” or “tradition” or “denomination” of Christianity. Theology is a big word that is thrown around and generally means the study of the things of the Divine, religious truth, or God. But it also becomes the subset’s of that – the many thousands of spin-off beliefs and practices and traditions of perceived truth – a particular form, system, branch or course of this study of God.
I’m Baptist. I’m Pentecostal. I’m Luteran. Calvinist.
I’m cessationist. I’m non-cessationist. Egalitarian. Complimentarian.
I believe in just war. I’m for non-violence.
Orthodox. Catholic. Protestant. Reformed. Evangelical.
On and on and on. It really never stops.
And I’m not surprised. We have a hard time relating to each other in this culture without labels. Strip out the Divine and you’ll find labels in every element of human relationship and interaction.
Male. Female. White. Black. White collar. Blue Collar. Republican. Democrat. Conservative. Liberal. Alcoholic. Addict.
Sinner. Saint. Christian. Non-Christian.
In. Out…Them. Us.
On one hand, I get labels, and why they exist. But on the other hand, labels kinda suck. And for the most part, that’s where this idea of Christian theology, as a particular specific belief system or practice or branch – a label of what kind of Christian one is, or where they are coming from – kinda sucks to.
The narrative of the Bible, the message of Jesus and the Apostles, and the Purpose of God are Oneness. There is a label, yes. There is a theology. But the entirety of these are summed up in the One – Jesus Christ.
Maybe I’m not intelligent enough. Maybe I’m not deep enough. But all these theological labels don’t make sense to me. I have certain convictions based on following Jesus that I feel to be true, and am passionate about. But it makes me cringe to try and express any of those from a labeled place.
The only theology that makes sense to me is Jesus.
Jesus is Lord. Christ is all. That’s my label. That’s my theology. He is my Label. He is my Theology.
If I am abiding in Him, all things will be ordered and sorted properly from there. The Body of Christ is already tragically divided. We must not make labels for ourselves and craft theology that fits our preference – and then fit Jesus into it. Jesus is our label, our Banner. Jesus is the summation of our study of the Divine, our theology.
And He is enough.
Christ is the visible image of the invisible God.
He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation,
for through him God created everything
in the heavenly realms and on earth.
He made the things we can see
and the things we can’t see—
such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world.
Everything was created through him and for him.
He existed before anything else,
and he holds all creation together.
Christ is also the head of the church,
which is his body.
He is the beginning,
supreme over all who rise from the dead.
So he is first in everything.
For God in all his fullness
was pleased to live in Christ,
and through him God reconciled
everything to himself.
He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth
by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.” – Colossians 1:15-20
What do you think? Do you agree or disagree? What would you add? How do you see your theology?