Moving has kept me from the blog world for far too long. I promise I’ll try to return to some of my recent post series soon! Today, though, just a quick thought:
I find myself burdened by what I feel is my “theological responsibility” as a seminary graduate. I felt this coming on during our final months at Fuller, and I probably feel it more acutely in the last month or so. By that I mean that I feel that a church or organization that I’m going to “endorse,” especially through financial support, should be improving its members’ theology rather than further corrupting it. This burden of theological responsibility may just mean I’m picky and/or arrogant, but I believe at least some of it comes from a good place. It makes me uncomfortable to think of giving a thumbs up to Christian leaders who aren’t theologically educated or reflective and who pass on beliefs and ideas that are innocuously (but annoyingly) wrong at best, and detrimental to the faith lives of their communities at worst.
I can recognize these sort of leaders as Christian brothers and sisters who are well-meaning and who even may get a lot of things right… but I just have trouble stomaching the idea of directly supporting ministries that may explicitly teach the kinds of things you go to seminary to unlearn. In fact, to do so, to me, feels unethical. Yes, I feel ethically uncomfortable supporting certain Christian organizations—which are in significant part like-minded and filled with nice people—because I feel as someone with a theological education I have some sort of responsibility to the larger Christian world to not condone what I know to be teaching that is just plain wrong (and, on a positive note, to encourage people to be thoughtful Christians with exposure to a wide range of ideas).
I think my awareness of this problem is exacerbated greatly by the general lack of moderate Christian organizations out there. I want very much to be able to stand behind positive Christian causes and to participate in their ministries (directly or indirectly). But I find myself asking who is left that I really feel comfortable supporting right now.
Anyone else (seminarian or not) have this issue? Would love to hear your thoughts and experiences in this realm.