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Is Your Theology Keeping You From God? by Joe Carroll

Theology.  You have one.  Everyone does.  You wear it daily in your work.  It’s revealed in how you treat  your family when you come home.
Whether you can verbalize it or not, your theology dictates your life. It determines your image of God.  It reflects how you treat people.  Even if you go to church and read your Bible, did you know that your theology can keep you from God?

The problem is when our theology becomes “religious” and not “relational”.

Have you noticed that sometimes the people who are furthest away from God are the most religious?  There are some who know their Bible so well and yet know God so little.  Theology is “the study of God”.  Yet, studying about God is not the same as knowing God.  God is not an object to be studied.  He is a being worth being in relationship with. 

Consider Jesus’ life.  Think about what he did with his life.  Consider what he taught.  Jesus didn’t spend his life studying theology.  (Matter-of-fact, it was the most educated theologians of his time who were responsible for his death.)  Notice some of the ways Jesus replaced “religion” with “relationship” in his teachings.

  • Peace not obtained by “regulations” but by “reliance on Him” (Matt 11:28)
  • Joy becomes complete not by “performance” but by “praying”. (John 16:24)
  • A fruitful life not through “religious sacrifice” but through “surrender” (John 12:24)
  • Eternal Life not through “following rules” but through “faith in Him” John 1:12)

There’s an interesting thing about religion.  Religion puts me in control.  A relationship with God puts Him in control.  Religious living elevates what I do for God.  A relationship with God elevates what He has done for me. 

Let’s align with Jesus’ theology.  It draws us to God.  It can be summed up in Matthew 11:28-30.

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (MSG)