In our community probably all of you, if not most of you, have heard of the infamous “type system.” With what may seem like just a harmless “you’re so type one” joke or a warning of a group that is “kind of type two” actually causes a huge opposition to Christ’s work, and becomes an aide to the work of Satan. You might say “Woah hold on it’s not that serious, it’s not that big of a deal,” but there are many underlying spiritual problems that this causes such as division, lukewarmness, and judgment to both ourselves and to others.
This community-created labeling is, in and of itself, a judgment of someone’s spiritual life- Wow! Already off to a great start! In participating in this labeling, you are inherently creating a division among the body of Christ. If you use these terms, you are painting a picture of a rigid “type one” who is “too churchy” and missing out on the world and on the other, a “type two” who is judged as “too out there” and a sinner undeserving of respect. This is one of the very tactics of the devil- causing divisions and despair on both ends. Some even argue that the Greek root of the word “diabolical” (diabolein) m eans to tear, cut, or divide. The devil is the enemy of human well-being. It is proper for the devil to scatter to utter destruction whereas Christ gathers to salvation. Whether at the Last Supper, His visit to Samaria, or having His disciples preach to every end of the world- the chief work of the Lord is to establish the unity of one body in Him. Let us diligently listen to the words of Christ when he says “he who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad” (Matthew 12:30).
With this type system in place, it plants a conscious (or subconscious) feeling of not fitting in and in which neither type is desirable. This leads us to aim for a comfortable middle ground- a place just where the devil wants us. One foot in the world and one foot in Christ. Except it doesn’t work like that. There is no neutrality in the
truth. Is Jesus God for us? We can’t just say Jesus has great morals, and we love who He is and that He heals the sick and forgives sinners. Yes, He’s great. But is He God? Is He God or not? If He is, that should make a big difference in our lives. In Revelations 3:16, we hear of an intense and scary message from our very patient God: “so then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth” (Revelations 3:16). Being that we know how kind and long-suffering our God is, it is important that we take this verse very seriously- vomit you out. A church father once said that “the Cross is like a signpost leading us to two different paths, but it can never leave us unaffected.”
Limiting Love for God
In using the type system you are creating limits of what YOU think is an appropriate level of loving our God. This is exactly what caused the disciples to stumble when seeing Mary who anointed Christ in Bethany. She had a pure love, she loved Christ with her whole heart. She took a pound of costly fragrant oil- a pound. I always imagined how drenched the Lord was in this whole pound of costly oil. There must have been oil everywhere- on His clothes, on His beard, on His feet. The disciples questioned her thinking: What is this crazy woman doing? You wanna take expensive oil? Fine. You wanna anoint Him? Fine, no problem. But why not a drop or two? Why waste the whole thing? Okay, we get it you love Him but enough, don’t be crazy.
But when are we going to be the ones who are crazy? The ones who say with St. Paul “I am a fool for Christ’s sake.” The ones who love by offering it all, not holding back just as our Savior did. Christ did not shed His blood in an economical way- He didn’t measure His sufferings. Because there is no limit in His love for us. Instead of us limiting ourselves and judging our brothers and sisters for not doing the same, let us long for this love that says “You deserve it all Lord.”
Let us long for the mind of Christ that unites. When we judge others we feel less of an obligation to serve and love them. Let us move from this type system to being a
type of Christ to one another. Let us move from the image of God to the likeness of God; through our obedience to this call, we begin to know God and this knowledge is eternal life (John 17:3). I pray that we always encourage and edify another for completing the work of Christ. That we drench Christ with our love and that we don’t stop. That we give and we give, and we become fools for Christ’s sake.
“Turn your attention upon yourself and beware of judging the deeds of other men, for in judging others a man labors vainly, often makes mistakes, and easily sins; whereas, in judging and taking stock of himself he does something that is always profitable. We frequently judge that things are as we wish them to be, for through personal feeling true perspective is easily lost. If you rely more upon your intelligence or industry than upon the virtue of submission to Jesus Christ, you will hardly, and in any case slowly, become an enlightened man. For we often sin and are unable to judge ourselves with the same standard we judge others.” -Thomas à Kempis