Herman Bavinck once wrote, “There is so much narrow-mindedness, so much pettiness among us, and the worst thing is that this is regarded as piety.” Bavinck was referring to two Christian groups the separatist churches of the Grievers and Seceders. Both groups left the state church, but they could not get along.
Why? Not because of matters of orthodox doctrine. Both had it. But because of pettiness and narrow-mindedness. It is the old problem of Donatism, of a drive for purity that that cuts itself off from other people. We often feel holier than the body of Christ.
But Jesus accepts us just as we are by faith. And so the body of Christ should welcome one another just as Christ welcomed us (Rom 15:7). To do anything less is to miss the mark of Christ’s love and formation of his body, the church.
One reason why we often become petty and narrow-minded as Bavinck says is because we do not understand how God’s Spirit gifts the created world and people in it, even of unbelievers or believers whom we disagree with. We think we are at the centre of it all. We are not because any truth or goodness that we find in this world has its origin in God. [Read more…] about One Reason Why Pettiness Is Regarded as Piety