Over the summer of 2014 I spent some time exploring the kind of values that I think should shape Christian community life. The values were written in community (a group of guys in a pub called parkology) a few years ago, and as such reflect where we were at a particular stage of our lives together. That community never really emerged, but I feel they’re a starting point for any work I’d want to do in the future in making this happen.
My argument is that too many churches have focused on excluding others from their community by creating statements of faith which define what they understand ‘orthodox’ Christian belief to be. If you can’t subscribe to these, then you’re out of the club. They become non-negotiables, things we teach about, but don’t, or rather won’t discuss. They prize statements of certainty about things that, when we think deeply about them, we can never be certain.
Instead, I believe we should work to create communities which value relationships and right practice (orthopraxis) over right belief (orthodoxy) – of course, right practice must be informed by believing certain things…and in my view these ‘things’ are values holding us together. We should be diverse communities, with diverse voices, listening, learning, growing, challenging, seeking to be faithful members and fellow builders of the kingdom.
Below are the posts exploring these values in greater depth.