Musings on comments…

Just some thoughts on the comments from my last post…

I feel that there are several strands to each of us engaged in church leadership. There is that part of us that must be obsessed with mission, and the communication of the good news of Jesus Christ. There is the part of us that is committed to discipling and developing others, helping our fellow believers grow in faith. Finally, I feel there is a part of us that must constantly be asking the ‘why, what, who, when’ questions – self-development as it were.

It’s in this final sphere that I believe we can and must apply ourselves to understanding God – yet I have no issues with saying that the more I ‘theologise’ the more I realise that there is much that I’m never going to get! What I struggle with are the simple, formulaic answers that church often gives to its members – “if you say A, then you must believe B, which will then get you to C”. Faith is not simple…it can’t be – we’re wrestling with the biggest questions of life!

If we believe faith is transformational, then surely we must believe in equipping our believers to ask these kind of questions. The more I think about preaching, the more I realise we can’t stand there and tell people what to believe, we must instead help them to develop the skills they need to engage with a God at a deeper level – which will be different for each believer.

To do otherwise is to elevate the preacher to the role of the Old Testament priest – the intermediary between man and God. My understanding of scripture tells me that Jesus has taken this role, and that each of us are now called into that royal priesthood…a priesthood of all believers. I guess there is a role within ministry of making sure that the journeys our fellow believers go on don’t start to clash with accepted doctrine or verge on heresy.

I guess what I’m saying is that while it is important to keep the message as simple as possible when ‘doing mission’, once the individual has opened their lives to Christ, a door is pushed wide open (call it discipleship) where they can ‘do theology’ in their own settings. I’m not trying to over-intellectualise our faith, but simply to equip fellow believers to engage with God in a way they find accessible.

I’m not sure how much of this is relevant to the debate, but it’s just where my thinking went. Finally, again I find myself agreeing with Graeme (see comment #6 on last post!)!


3 thoughts on “Musings on comments…

  1. First comment on your blog – so I’ll keep it short as some of the politics and terminology is over my head 😉

    Basically agree with you. Leaders have a responsibility to be asking the big questions – to try to stay ahead of the crowd from a thinking point of view AND a doing point of view. I think when it comes to leading and preaching – aim high – try to keep raising the bar especially for the leaders that you lead! But the gospel can be simple – and still works for those with a very simple basic understanding of it! hallelujah for that! Also in all this – our actions will always shout much louder than our words. Thats important. Its a pleasure reading all this stuff – look forward to continuing the discussion.

  2. The thing that I’m realising more and more is that Holiness is the key! An uncompromising faith that seeks to be more and more like Jesus and expresses itself through grace, truth and justice!

    Politics, theology and everything else is simply semantics. Holiness is everything and liberates us in every sphere of life!

    Discussion on these subjects needs to keep holiness and our Christ-likeness as the axle on which the wheel of discussion turns!

    Andrew, I’m appreciating the chance to chat about this! Why not get in touch through the contact me page and we can chat somemore!

  3. I accept what you say, but you and I are both in the same Salvation Army. You discover in regular, weekly ministry with the same group of people that actually they need to have a foundation of beliefs…something that they can be confident in and that they can then use to interact deeper.

    We see this in the corps all the time. Now, we do deep at Pill…some of us…but for the rest we need to build in them the very basic of scriptural/Christian knowledge.

    How is it possible to come to a corps were a large percent have been there for over 10 years and yet they can’t explain the gospel in real terms? How is it possible that people can be salvationist 50 years and never get beyond ‘Jesus loves you and forgives your sin.’

    I am not saying that there is no place to explore issues…as I said, we do that bit time at Pill for those who can cope and who are ready. But even then, when discussion a complex issue, if we take the whole of scripture together (with no agenda) such as on an issue to healing we discover the following:

    – God heals, he wants that to be a part of mission
    – God never causes sickness, but can use it to refine the experience(eg Job)
    – faith is involved in healing and doesn’t often happen without it but no-where does it say who has to have the faith…as long as there is some
    – ultimately God desires to display his Kingdom but sometimes he chooses not to..hey…he’s God!

    Do you understand what I’m saying? If we come from the common place of understanding scripture to be the word of God then we can agree together after comprehensive study what God does say about healing.

    That is where simplicity and ‘fundamentalism’ should take us…to a balanced view of scripture that doesn’t quote out of context to suit our ideas. When grace and the Holy Spirit are combined with a conservative evangelical faith, you have balanced Christianity.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s