Tuesday, July 6, 2010
GA 219-Day 6
Over the last 6 days my mind has been stretched, my heart has been filled, and love for Christ's church has grown.
I was questioned by a friend moments ago on the phone over many theological questions, and for the most part he and I see somewhat eye to eye theologically. But he brought up some questions that raised concern for me and the main issue at hand was the way we use scripture.
I have a deep love for theology, but I have an even deeper love for the word of God. Every time I open my Bible I am filled with emotion, my heart swells, I become excited, and sometimes I even weep. The scriptures we have are beautiful and in speaking with my friend I realized how many times they are taken out of context, twisted, and used in ways that make me feel hurt. When someone says I believe what the Bible says here but not there, and this does not fit with the way I want to live my life or what I want to believe so I just ignore that it scares me. It makes me sad.
We have a precious gift in scripture, sola scriptura, two words that have been echoed many times in the last 6 days. Scripture alone, the authority I turn to (I have 35 pages written on my personal beliefs and many pages are hard reflections on sola scriptura) first in all that I say and all that I do. And this is hard. In a world that is changing so rapidly it is hard to see how scripture lines up and sometimes it does not. The reality is that we as a church are called not to conform to the ways of the world (Romans 12:2) but instead to be renewed by the transforming of our minds. This renewal of our minds comes from staying true to our scriptures and I fear that this is something the church is moving away from. Instead we are moving towards being transformed by the world and that is scary.
The theme of this assembly is "Out of the believers heart shall flow rivers of living waters" (John 7:38). This theme calls for something radical. It calls for things to flow forth from this assembly, to change the world as we know it and to make new paths, wider paths, and fresh paths. However, it is my fear that this paths will not be transforming the world but instead conforming our denomination to the world.
When rivers flow forth they cut a pass in the land, I don't have to look to far from where I live now to see that in the Ohio River. These paths that rivers provide are places where transportation takes place. Rivers are where life is found above and below the water. Rivers rarely run dry and rivers carry momentum down streem into a bigger body of water.
My hope and dream for this church that I love is that our river that flows forth from this General Assembly would be one that does not conform to the world but that creates a new transformation future for the church and all of God's people. One that says we are one in Christ, one that says Christ is more powerful than any overture, any report, any committee, any person, Christ is Lord, Christ is head of the Church (not just our church), and Christ cannot and will not be used in ways that are not in line with Scripture, yet Christ will be used to free the oppressed, restore sight to the blind, and proclaimed to all. It is through Christ that we have been called to this place and this time to respond to the business before us and I pray that we are listening carefully...first to scripture and second to one another...to discern what the will of God is for us as we push to move the church forward, as we look to be a river of living water to the world around us.
It's late, I'm tired, and I don't want to be cranky tomorrow!
I will say I enjoyed our YAAD field trip to the Mall of America where I road roller coasters and watched a ComedySportz show that was AMAZING...and we asked during Mr. Know it All, for Mr. Know It All to explain Parliamentary Procedure to us...It is official that all YAAD's desire to become GA junkies now. :D