During World War II, C.S. Lewis gave a series of talks on BBC radio. These were later transcribed and compiled into the book we now know as Mere Christianity. In these talks and book, Lewis attempted to boil our faith down into what is common between everyone who claims to have faith in Christ, whether they are Baptist, Anglican, Methodist or any other vein or strain of Christianity.
What, though, if we took another path? What if we explored what Mere Religion looks like? For our purposes here, let’s define religion as what we do in our attempt to reach God. In other words, Mere Religion is simply what man does in an attempt to gain God. There are two ways that we achieve Mere Religion that I want to discuss further.
The first is Mere Theology. This is simply building a system that we believe will get us to Heaven. There isn’t wrong with building a system. The problem becomes when we begin to trust the system more than the One behind the system. Then it becomes mere theology. It is one of the pillars of Mere Religion. It gives us tasks to do and a man-made discipline that gives our life direction. The problem we face is where that path leads.
Another component of Mere Religion is Mere Doctrine. These are teachings. The teachings can be fine, but the they not be complete. They may be pulled out of context. They could be used to control others. Mere Doctrine lacks the Spirit of the God they are meant to teach us about.
Don’t misunderstand. I love theology. I love doctrine. However, they are not the answer. We have to ask ourselves, though, what the solution is.
What is the solution?
Seeking our satisfaction in the God who overrides the systems we create and the doctrines we follow. Placing our faith and trust in Him, not in mere scaffolding that we surround Him with. If our system leads us to the satisfaction that we can find in Him, then it has done its job, but it wasn’t the goal. If our doctrine teaches of Him and leads us to a relationship with the Lord, then it is a success. We simply cannot have a relationship with our doctrine. Theology and doctrine must simply be a means to an end. The end, of course, being our Lord.
What do you think of theology and doctrine? Where do you seek your satisfaction?