I am more and more convinced of the simple Christian truth that doctrine, important as it is, is only the simplest of beginnings when it comes to professing faith in Christ. Doctrine is too easily manipulated, too quickly used to draw up sides and cast stones. Doctrine is necessary, but alone…it is not enough.
Jesus did not call us to assent to doctrine. He called us to follow. Until we put our bodies where our words and thoughts are, our faith is incomplete. Until our commitments line up with our creeds, our creeds ring hollow.
Of course, none of us can follow perfectly. We respond to God’s grace and rely on God’s grace. That’s the hard truth behind the call to take up our cross and follow. It is in the cross where we find the grace that enables us to walk in the way of Christ.
In the end, I believe we who claim Christ are being formed in the shape of the cross, the shape of self-giving love. May it be so for us, for the sake of the world.