“Yes, sound theology will do that.”
Dr. Greg Ogden shares in one of his books the delightful Peanuts cartoon where Linus and Lucy are involved in substantive dialog. Lucy is worried because it has been raining so hard for so long. She wonders whether there will be another world-wide flood as in Noah’s day. Linus informs her that this won’t happen. Referring to Genesis 9, he reminds her that God promised never to flood the earth again. Lucy says, “Well, that takes a load off my mind.” Linus, while sucking on his blanket, says, “Yes, sound theology will do that.”
Sound theology is shaped by God’s Word, the Bible. The authority for what is sound theology has never been placed to a democratic vote by the people. As Christians, we submit to God. Now this may sound obvious to many but consider this true incident. A North Carolina pastor shared with me some years ago that he was called to start a new church. The agency funding the church start wanted to lay the foundation, provide the blueprint for establishing a large congregation. The expectation is that by staffing for a large church and providing biblical principals of administration, the church would grow rather quickly into a large church. In fact, the experiment was successful. The church now has over one thousand in worship on an average Sunday.
Early in the church, start a woman came to visit this pastor. She was interested in joining but wanted assurances that the pastor would provide all the pastoral care that her family would require. Tactfully, he said that he would participate in a system of pastoral care that included trained lay people for care with an associate for pastoral care. Simply, he would participate with others in responsible pastoral care but would not be doing it all himself. That was not acceptable to the woman. “That’s not how it’s done in my church!” she protested. The pastor then proceeded to show her the biblical principals for pastoral care within churches, demonstrating that those principals speak to pastoral care as something the church members provided for one another. Her response was, “I will not permit the Bible to inform what I know is right!”