I read this long definition...or short article about what theology is from gotquestions.org
I was immediately reminded of how I grew up. I grew up in a cult.
A cult is:
a) an interest followed with exaggerated zeal. and/or...
b) followers of an unorthodox extremist, or false religion or sect who often live outside conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader (like Jim Jones in the '70's) and/or...
c) followers of an exclusive system of religious beliefs and practices
The cult I was raised in falls mostly under c) followers of an exclusive system of religious beliefs and practices.
It was always about the rules. Rules came first. You can't do this, You can't say that, You can't go here, You can't eat that, You must worship on THIS day only...or you just don't love God and you are not and cannot be saved.
So I made a point to follow the rules, ever since I was a child. Of course during my teen-age years and early twenties I rebelled and broke them. I broke them all. I was sure I was going to hell and I didn't care. By the time I was 22 I had practically destroyed myself, my mind and any relationships I had then. Some were good, some were not. The good one's I miss. Then I chose God, He's a good one :)
I'm 43 now, and today as I was reading the definition it made perfect sense. It's simple. A complete "DUH!" to most Christians. It summed up my life and one of the reasons why it was difficult for me as a child to relate to God as a person.
FIRST THINGS FIRST
"To study theology is to get to know God in order that we may glorify Him through our love and obedience. NOTICE THE PROGRESSION HERE: we must get to know Him before we can love Him, and we must love Him before we can desire to obey Him."
"Poor theology, and an inaccurate understanding of God will only make our lives worse instead of bringing the comfort and hope we long for."
THAT'S HUGE FOLKS!!!!!! Read that... and then re-read it!!!!!
I realized that for most of my life I had it backwards. I was trying to appease God by keeping the rules...I didn't know Him or love Him. How could I? Rules got in the way! I was arrogant, self-righteous and LOST! Arrogant? Yes. If anyone questioned my morality...I could absolutely say "at least I obey the rules"....EWWWWWW!.....AND ICK!! AND YUCK!!! Makes me nauseous to even think about it. And it doesn't work.
Get to know God and His deep soul connection with us as a people and with YOU as an individual. Please don't assume that all He wants from you is to follow a bunch of rules. THAT IS A LIE FROM THE PIT OF HELL!!! He wants a relationship with you....!!!! :)
I mentioned in my bio that I was saved from Seventh Day Adventism when I was 30. Since then I have gotten to know Him personally. "Attempting to understand God as He is revealed in the Bible"(i.e., Theology). He reaches the depth of my soul and shows me things I didn't know before. He shows me answers to my questions. Like "Really God? why do I even take up space on the earth???" A few minutes after I had asked that question (while I was driving), I should have been killed in a car accident via a car pile up including a semi-truck. But when my brakes no longer worked and I closed my eyes (for what I thought was for good...) my car just stopped. About 6 inches away from the semi that I was supposed to have collided into. He showed me that I was alive for a reason, and that would be something revealed to me at a later time.
We were separated from God because of sin (which the rules couldn't help)...so He came down here to live with us and be with us. He died for us, creating the bridge of forgiveness we need to run back into the arms of God. He IS. He is the One that answers my heart...even before I pray. He is trustworthy and keeps His word. He IS forgiveness. He loves me. He saved me (in a million ways more than just one), and I love Him. He loves me and I love Him. That is what is important. The obeying part just seems to happen as I know Him and love Him. And do you want to know how He wants us to obey? Love Him and love others. So He just circles it right back to love.
There are times when emotions can get in the way. And even then I can decide to do the right thing regardless of how I feel because I have chosen to dig deeper into a personal study of God...to KNOW Him. I know Him to strengthen me during those times :)
AHHHHHHHHH!!!!! Good stuff!! :)
til' next time :)
|yes this is a screen shot...but still a very cool pic :)|