Hold On To Your Knickers!


This is the first time, (I think), that I’m setting out to post something that I expect to provoke a reaction.

At Bible Study last night, we were talking about idols. What do we set up in our hearts that draw our love and devotion and time and attention away from God?

The usual answers were thrown out: TV, books, hobbies, jobs, body image/exercise, cars, houses, clothes, shoes, chocolate, and so on.

One woman raised her hand and commented, almost apologetically, that really all those things come down to self. We may say we have a problem with a chocolate obsession or shopping or whatever, but it’s really that I want to do what I want to do when I want to do it for me. Me. Me. Me.

So true.

But then another woman near me leaned over and said the most profound thing I’ve heard in ages… well, at least a week. Maybe two.

“Even our theology can be an idol.”


It hit me like a soccer ball to the head.  (Trendy World Cup reference there, did you catch it?)

I know people from other denominations who won’t let a guest speaker into their facility if they’re from a different denomination.

I know people who filter every book they read, the music they listen to, and the web sites they visit through the filter of a pastor/teacher/theologian with whom they agree.

I know people who would rather disdain and dismiss their hosts offerings rather than partake of something they have deemed not good enough for them. And I’m not talking about wine/alcohol drinkers only. It happens with sweeteners. “Is this made with Splenda or sugar or Stevia?” “Does this have gluten/white flour/canola oil in it?” Disclaimer: I know there are true food allergies, but come on… if it won’t kill you, smile and say thank you.

I know Calvinists and Arminians.

I know gay folk and straight.

I know carnivores and vegans.

I try to extend grace to everyone, to acknowledge that they are following what God has told them to do, to the best of their ability.

I had a friend who regularly entered the Publishers Clearinghouse Sweepstakes and burned copies of CDs for friends. I can’t do either of those things. But I can have a glass of wine and she can’t. God has given us different instructions for our lives.

I’m tired of people who filter everything through what their favorite teacher has said. I can’t tell you how many times a subject will come up and they quote from his/her latest book like it’s the final authority. Their theology has become their idol.

This makes me sad.


Praying for: Michael, Joyce, Toni, and Abbie.

Currently reading: Still House Pond by Jan Watson

Last movie: Rachel Getting Married – nyuh.


  1. Carrie,
    I can see some of what you are expressing...many become arrogant in their theology and tend to look down their nose...but sorry I can't go along with your
    "I know gay folk and straight...to acknowledge that they are following what God has told them to do, to the best of their ability." Do you really think that? Scripture is clear on that one!
    Many people may be surprised at who shows up in glory! So when I hear those that seem to cast judgement on others or who like to name drop, even on theology, I believe that there is some grace lacking, some toddlers in the faith, but passion for theology is a good thing. Theologians can become an idol, but I don't think theology is...without it - we would wander into the error of basing everything on feelings or experience and my feelings decieve me! Kb

  2. I think we're close, Kristi, it's just how we define some terms. To be continued...

    Thanks for reading and responding!

  3. I have experienced a broad spectrum of theology in my life--almost the whole rainbow, from almost Amish to Catholic. We can't put faith in theology, per se, because is a creation of man. It's our attempt to understand God and describe Him. Our theology can't be perfect because we aren't. Therefore it is a truly dangerous thing to worship. This doesn't mean theology isn't essential, but only Jesus and His gospel, comprehended with the faith of a child, is worthy of our dying devotion. The Scriptures are sacred but our own thoughts are not. Thanks for this post!

  4. Well said, Elizabeth! Thanks for reading and posting.