In orthodox Christianity, we have set beliefs that one cannot question. Concepts such as the Trinity, the books chosen for the Bible, and even concepts such as limited atonement. If you do not agree with this list of theologies, other may accuse you of acting as a heretic, or false teacher.
Two things bother me about this. First, in a way, we are all heretics and false teachers. When honest, we must admit that we must get some things wrong about God. After all, who completely understands God? Even those things we think we got right fail to properly convey the concepts we wish to convey. Who can fully encapsulate the idea of the Trinity in a blurb, sermon, book or even library?
Second, the Bible deals more directly with one’s lifestyle, sin, and behavior towards each other and God, rather than one’s perfect and complete understanding of God, or doctrines of grace and the such. Read 1 Timothy 3, which many churches use to define qualifications of pastors and elders. It speaks of how well the person in question leads his own family, treats others, and demonstrates mastery over sin (such as drunkenness). This matches what Jesus taught when he said, “This is how they will know you are my disciples, if you love one another.” He did not say “If you have perfect theology.”
Now, I wish to address two possible misunderstandings here. First, I do not claim to have a great, sinless life that perfectly mirrors the above mentioned passages. I simply wish to illustrate that we emphasize the wrong thing when we constantly use theology (and understanding/completely belief in certain ones) as an acid test or measuring stick as to qualification of our leaders or even who we may call brothers. Second, I do not teach we accept any and all teachers or teachings (I speak more of that topic here). The Bible clearly warns of ‘false teachers’ and Shepherd who teach a different gospel and/or savior.
Ultimately, as Jesus pointed out, it is all about love, through God. Let us remember that as we imperfectly share our faith with each other, and our unsaved neighbors.