If you have a laptop, tablet/ipad, or smartphone you’ve likely played (or at least heard of) Angry Birds.  It’s the most downloaded (and addictive!) game app on the planet right now with more than 200 million downloads of the hit game series franchise (Angry Birds, Angry Birds Space, Angry Birds Seasons, Angry Birds Rio).  Here’s the premise…weird little birds are sitting around, minding their own business while nesting with their eggs…when out of no where a group of equally awkward looking pigs burst on the scene and steal their precious eggs.  The once domicile birds suddenly go ballistic and seek to hunt down and destroy the villainous pigs, and reunite with their eggs.  The birds even have a painted scowl and bent eyebrow to complete the angry persona.

While reading a post today from Greg Stier, it reminded me of how we as Christians can sometimes come across as an ‘angry bird’ (or as Greg puts it…and angry nerd) to our communities.  In our pursuit of biblical truth and knowledge, we often feel like we have to fight on behalf of God to safeguard theology and doctrine (which we are actually called to do).  The problem is that we often can easily get caught up in a fight, but forget what/who we’re fighting about.  I’ve grown in my understanding and desire of theology and doctrine over the past 5 years, but at times it can be more about proving you’re (I’m) right in my point, than it is/was about pursuing truth, correction and discipleship.  Sometime knowledge can be a dangerous thing!  I’ve met many Christians out there who think they’re living in the days of the Aeropageus and whose goal it is to sit around and debate (babble) about philosophy, theology and doctrine until someone gives in an says “Okay…you’re right!”

There are certainly some theological ‘fights’ worth fighting, but most of the arguments Christians get into with each other (and those not-yet-there) are simply not worth battling over…much less dying for!  But even in those times where it’s necessary to ‘take the gloves off‘ and stand our theological ground (and there are many situations that is necessary in our post-modern, relativistic culture!), it should always be done with tact, love and a humble attitude…something much easier said than practiced unfortunately!  So take a look at Greg’s post (below) and hopefully it’ll be a challenge, encouragement and/or reminder for you…just like it was for me to examine how I interact with others who don’t always share my perception and worldview!

You can check out Greg’s blog post on his site here, and I’ve also included it below for your convenience.

Posted on Tuesday 10 April 2012 by Greg Stier @ 7:42 am 

Filed under: Rants

Is it me or is there a growing number of theologically conservative preachers, teachers and seminary students who just seem ticked off all of the time? They soak in all of their “ologies” (Soteriology, Hamartiology, Christology, Pneumatology, etc) and come out of their Bible bathtubs bubbling with bitterness, bile and bite. Sadly, they are marked more by their pointed index fingers and furrowed brows than the joy of Christ.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for the “ologies” and am passionate about rightly dividing the Word of God. On a theological level I’m pretty stinkin’ conservative myself. But it seems to me that Biblical truth should not make us angry nerds who lash out at others who don’t line up with our point of view, especially on the issues that don’t matter as much. Jots and titles shouldn’t be the Kibbles n’ Bits we feed on. Instead we must feast on the love of God himself and then invite others to join the feast! Strong theology should fill our hearts, not with rage, but awe, joy and gratefulness.

If God’s grace is a reality then I should be marked by a smile, not a snarl.

If God’s Word is true then I should have confidence, not arrogance.

If God is triune then I should seek unity with my brothers and sisters in Christ, not division.

If God chose me before the foundation of the earth then I should be filled with humility, not pride.

If God made me in his image then I should reflect divine love, not religious legalism.

The great theologian and apostle wrote these words to Timothy in his last days before losing his head to Nero’s sharpened axe,

“And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.” 2 Timothy 2:24-26

I’m not sure that Paul in his early ministry years was characterized by the same sense of gentleness and love he is urging Timothy to model in this passage. Early on in Acts he seemed angrier, less patient and more demanding…angry enough to turn John Mark away…angry enough to send Barnabas packing. But, later in life, it seems as though the heart of Christ (love) and mind of Christ (truth) collide in Paul’s life and through his pen in unprecedented ways. May the same be true of us!

Hey seminary students, exegete this…

“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

If we master theology but don’t have the love of the Master ruling our hearts then we gain nothing. If we learn the truth but don’t live it in love then we have missed the punch line to the greatest theological truth in the universe…a holy and just God who hates sin, loved us enough to send his Son to die for us. His great love for us should usher about a great love in our hearts for him, each other, the lost and, yes, even false teachers.

Great theology, truly understood, embraced and incarnated should turn our frowns upside down.

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