Well, ARE YOU?
Talk about a ten-dollar-word! Toss this one around at your next neighborhood social and you’ll be sure to garner a few eye-rolls. If you want to to come off as a ridiculous, high-brow blow-hard who knows heaps about religion and culture, try this phrase:
“I’m skeptical of the dogma endemic of the vociferous leadership of the emergent church today as they are plagued with high-fidelity worship music and a diluted practical theology of latitudinarianism.”
There ya go. And I didn’t even finish college or Bible School.
This is an educational blog too, and that’s a freebie.
You may want to know the definition, however, before you go spitting this multi-syllable mouthful.
Latitudinarianism, n. – broadness and tolerance, especially in religion; liberal interpretation of doctrines, creeds, etc.
Yes, it is really a word that I found in my enormous, old Webster’s Dictionary. No, you really shouldn’t use it in mixed company.
And yes, you may want to consider where you stand on the subject of latitudinarianism.
What do you believe? Do absolutes exist, are they necessary and if so, are they meant to be played with and rearranged to fit our cultural pitch and sway?
Are your beliefs formed by scripture, your own personal experience, that which you’ve been taught to believe or what makes you feel comfortable? Do you gravitate toward absolutes or only absolution?
Is latitudinarianism a scourge of modern Christianity, a stodgy word to be hissed along with socialism? Can latitudinarianism contribute to the unity of believers or is it a cancerous liassez-faire, a banal approach to evangelical Christianity that will reduce our gospel to watered down inclusiveness?
Have you ever written a personal statement of faith–you know, that thing you look up on church websites to see how they stand on speaking in tongues and the inerrant veracity of scripture, the Holy Trinity and if Jesus is recognized as fully God and fully Man?
Does your life authenticate your personal statement of faith?
Jesus, in my opinion, was antilatitudinarianistic.
He repeatedly claimed not to abolish the Old Covenant Law, but to fulfill it. He fleshed out the heart and soul of the law with inglorious humanity, unfettered faith in His Father and incredible gentleness. By gentleness, I refer to the actual definition of the word used in the Bible: extreme power under control. He was never exclusive, in fact, he flung open wide the gates of heaven to the whole world, leveled the playing field and gave out free passes to a right relationship with God simply by believing on his name.
He never faltered in his theology, morality, his hatred of sin, his love for Creation or his high view of God.
Jesus authenticated his personal statement of faith with his healing touch, each parable, and every single step to Golgotha. All this free-lovin’ Jesus had to offer cost him everything. He knew what he believed and he lived — and died — with that singular doctrine on his lips:
Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.
What are we willing to put on the line for the Gospel of Christ? Are we willing to be individually saturated with truth of God’s Word or do we choose an easy road of parroting platitudes of interpretive status quo? And, to be utterly cliche, I’ll ask: WWJD?