Monday, March 21, 2005

Mmmmm....

Have felt quite uneasy about a lot of stuff that I've heard, read seen recently. It feels like there's an increasing sense that it is wrong to think that what you believe is true - it is wrong to think that other people should believe what we believe. Now it's all very prudent, it's safe, it stops people getting offended or recognisably hurt by us... but... Jesus said, "If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." Jesus says we will KNOW the TRUTH. There isn't any uncertainty in that. Ahhh, but people have believed and told us that they have known the truth before, and we or others have followed them and they've been wrong... whether they are people that we've known or Munsterites or whomever. Yes, they have... so why not make our response to strive harder to continue in Jesus' word and be His disciples, His students. To ask Him to make us sure of His truth and for Him to protect us from any other ideas that may get in the way of that, or take us off His path. To discuss and allow God to use each other to challenge our ideas but to ultimately be submitted to Him knowing that behind all the doctrine etc. there is a real "person" with real opinions (ie. Truth) that He wants us to KNOW and be confident in, a solid rock for us to build our foundations on. And if we are only prepared to get ourselves low enough He will teach us.

I don't know especially much about post-modernism etc. or emerging church, but it does scare me. There seem to be so many dirty words these days: "religion" (I liked what Richard and Ben had to say about that, even if they might not agree with me on this!), "obedience" (because apparently to want to live lives of "obedience" to God smacks of "religion"), "law" (I think we need reminding that God's law is GOOD, and is a key part of God's design for fulfilled lives - it is legalism, ie. enslavement to the law which is not good), "Bible" (because to read the Bible encourages a legalistic attitude) and "truth" (because to believe in truth mean us and the people around us will have to come to terms with being either right or wrong). The last thing that the post-modern world and the people in it need is not a post-modern gospel or a post-modern church. They need the original gospel, presented where necessary in appropriate 21st century language and idioms - just like Jesus presented the gospel in appropriate 1st century language and idioms - but it must be the same gospel, ie JESUS CHRIST. We don't need a church that says, hey everyone that came between Jesus and us got it wrong and therefore a) we can't get it right or b) we, unlike them are doing it right. We and the world need one that recognises itself as part of The Church, that owns it's history and is prepared to say that we've got it wrong in the past and we'll more than probably get it wrong again but we are determined to walk ever closer to Jesus and become ever more confident of the truth He teaches us. That feels it is appropriate to have corporate beliefs because Christianity isn't about what we can each make God into, but about what God can make us into. A church website I saw recently said "We are an immature church. But we are trying to grow up." I think that there should be an element of that attitude in every Church.

But this is offensive, it says that everyone else is wrong whilst we have the truth. It doesn't take into account the progress we have made in human thought, the lessons we've learnt about how we should treat each other etc., it doesn't take into account the lessons I'VE learnt! But the gospel has always been exactly this offensive - it's always gone against accepted wisdom; it's always required its adherents to accept that there is a better wisdom than that of me or humanity.

2 Comments:

At 3:27 PM, Blogger Pete said...

Goodness, I've never known you to be such a charismatic.

All the best with it. Let me know how it goes.

 
At 10:00 AM, Blogger Lorna said...

Thank you! you've summed up my feelings too!!

 

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