I’m never going to discourage study, but you can still believe what’s written in scripture about love, holiness and the nature of God without deeply understanding everything written or implied there.
Once again, here’s my example from John 21: Peter and the ”other disciple” (apparently how John humbly refers to himself) enter the empty tomb and believe Jesus is risen EVEN THOUGH they don’t understand the idea of resurrection described in prophecy and predicted by Jesus.
They didn’t get it.
They believed anyway.
And I keep saying this because of the danger of getting so deeply invested in human interpretations and conclusions drawn from what’s written that we start judging others’ faith and arrogantly call them heretics and exclude them and further divide the body unified by His Spirit.
And I know too well the defense mechanism that says, “Well, there are certain basic principles that we have to all agree on ….”
That way lies judgment, wallbuilding and madness.
Peter didn’t agree with Jesus’ plan to go to Jerusalem and allow Himself to be killed and to rise again. That’s a pretty basic disagreement. But it’s on the foundation of faith like Peter’s that Jesus builds.
Disagree, but don’t divide.
And don’t forget that, in speaking of Jews and Gentiles, of strong and weak faith, the author of Romans recommends:
“Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” (15:7)
Do you think the people being written to believed everything exactly alike, according to some magically unwritten standard of orthodoxy? What are the odds of that happening? Then? Now? Ever?
You know what we believers can believe and agree on?
What is clearly written in scripture. What Jesus taught. How He lived. Whom He loved. (Hint: Everyone.) That He died. That He lives again.
And if that isn’t enough to give weight to the cosmic importance of loving others as the basis of everything we do — as opposed to judging and hating and condemning — then what would it take to convince us beyond God has already done?
We’re not on this world to sate our greed, to judge and hate others, to divide and destroy.
You don’t even have to study or believe scripture to understand that.