I hear from time to time that being a Christian has little if anything to do with doctrine, let alone the public confession of dogma. No, what matters is that we follow Jesus. And what does that look like? Apparently it looks like being a rather far Left-leaning Democrat. Jesus, you see, was into ‘social justice’, and that which is Left is obviously just.
There are a number of problems with this scheme, but only one really gets to the crux of the matter. To put it bluntly, why the hell should I give a damn about Jesus? What makes his words and actions so special? How do you know a world ordered according to his desires would be ‘just’? By what standard do you judge what is just and what is unjust? In short, just who is Jesus, and why?
Of course, that’s a forensic question – there are some of us who claim to know just who Jesus is and why. We have been known to make public assertions to that effect. We call those assertions *dogma*, and we can be quite fussy about it. Jesus is, you see, a quite particular, even peculiar, kind of Person, and we want to know and love *him* in all that peculiar particularity.
Because of who he is, and what he’s done (his *Person and work* you see, not to be separated), he has unique authority. ‘All power, dominion, honor, blessing, glory, and might’ is how we often put it. Because of that unique authority (exousia, auctoritas), we at least occasionally obey his peremptory commands, among which are a clutch relevant to how we order a society so that it might have a chance of being more or less just.
So thank you, no, I’ll not set aside dogma. I love dogma, cherish dogma; I desire to study so as to more deeply understand dogma – only in this way will I more deeply know, insofar as I am able, the One who loves me and makes it possible for me to love him. It’s that simple. Of course, he makes it quite clear that if we willy-nilly disregard his commands and desires for the right ordering of our various polities, then our love for him is deficient to say the least. For my part, I just assume that left to my own devices I would likely forget all about him. I am grateful, you can well imagine, that he does not leave me to those devices.