In his TGC breakout talk last year C.J. Mahaney pointed out something in Jude 3, which reads:
Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.
I grew up in a corner of evangelicalism that loved and preached and wrote books about the second part of this verse--'contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.' And that's what Jude does throughout the rest of his short letter as he calls out the false teachers. So, we today, too, contend for the faith. Preserve sound doctrine. Guard our theology. To this day I hold that charge precious and want to do all I can to obey it.
C.J. pointed out, though, that this was not the letter Jude wanted to write. The letter he wanted to write was one that exulted in what he had in common with his readers. 'I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation.' But, alas, I had to write a letter that was less enjoyable but more important for the sake of your souls at this point in your lives.
A question for those of us who love sound doctrine: are we more eager to police other Christians' theology, quietly gleeful when we diagnose error, or are we more eager to rejoice in what we have in common with other Christians? Both are crucial. Neither is negotiable. But which is our deepest joy and instinct?