Life in an Inter-Denominational Church [Jared]

Monday, February 09, 2009
Allow me to try and explain what just happened in the office.  (Please note that it was all in good humor and that I might have embellished the story for dramatic effect.)

So, Robbie walks into my office and says, "Hey Jared, I need some of your theological wisdom."
We both laugh at the absurdity of that statement, but he does have a serious question.  He reads the passage out loud.  It concerns 2 Timothy 2:12-13.  Paul here is most likely quoting a statement even older than his own developed theology, possibly one of the very earliest Christian creeds.  Depending on your theological background the two verses next to each other seem to directly contradict one another.

It is at this point that Doug Irvin (as usual) becomes agitated like a St. Bernard in a baby bunny factory.  Doug loves theological question and debate and his knowledge of scripture is simply astounding.  He bounces out of his chair and starts hurriedly looking through his Bible reference books.  He hasn't joined the conversation yet, but he leaves little doubt he is about to pounce.

Bill Babson (as usual) listens quietly.  Ready to interject at the opportune moment.  Since he thinks more before he speaks he usually leaves us speechless afterward...

I (as usual) just start talking.  Robbie and I agree that the verse 12b is salvific in nature and then all hell breaks loose.  We are now in the middle of a 4 and 1/2 way (Kathy Risch keeps yelling stuff over the cubicle wall) theological debate about the perserverance of the saints.  "You can't loose your salvation!" someone says, "God would never let you go from his loving hands."
"Of course He won't drop you, but what if you just bail-out," someone counters.  Then it gets dirty.  The name calling starts...
They don't quite know what to call me. Usually they just call me "sinner" but this seems oddly innappropriate, so today I escape the brunt of it.

We decide on an impromptu study of the original greek text that was translated "deny".  It turns out it is used by all four evangelists to describe what Peter did when he "denied" Jesus.  We all decide that the suggestion that the Apostle Peter is not saved is a bit ridiculous so it is resolved: The entire debate was about the wrong thing.  Robbie is still slightly confused, although the passage in question doesn't present much of a problem any more.  And we can all get back to work satisfied of this fact:

We believe that God saves us by his unmerited assistance when we place our trust in Jesus Christ who is now alive and reigning and who is one day coming again.  We may disagree on the details, but that is enough for us to gladly and joyfully work together for the sake of His Kingdom.

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