If we are honest with ourselves, we let opinions shape our Christian beliefs much more than we do the Bible. Watching Fox News or MSNBC often shapes our theology more than we realize. We decide who is on our side and then we cease to question. It is easy to make the Bible say whatever we want it to; we are also easily manipulated by people who would use our own faith to further their agendas. This has become a great burden on my heart as I believe the bombardment comes from many angles. We are often taught that the “Blue side” or the “Red side” has a cornerstone on the truth, but if we take the Scriptures seriously, we know this not to be the case.
What Christians think or believe is obviously important. It is our everything; our torch we bear to the world. I began thinking about this as a sermon series, not because I wanted to talk about controversial topics. In fact it was the opposite. We can become so accustomed to arguing that often we will proof text a couple of scriptures from the Bible on any issue and feel we have God’s truth down pat. I wanted us to start from a more basic but broader vantage point. I wanted us to rediscover how we as Christians view God, view Jesus, view the Bible and view the world etc. What do our beliefs lead us to do and be, not merely think.
I love the words of Mike Friesen, a Christian blogger, who penned these words…
What matters to me is not what I believe, but what I am believing. Because if Truth isn’t transformative, then why believe in it? The question for me is not what Christianity does for me by a belief in a doctrine, but what does a belief in a doctrine help me become? And, if Christianity is not something that liberates not only those who believe in it, but others through those who believe in it, then what good is it? The belief is the endpoint, and we are in the process of becoming our beliefs. Or, as Stanley Hauerwas says about the Sermon On The Mount, “The basis for the ethics of the Sermon on the Mount is not what works, but rather who God is.” And, what we should be interested in is living out God in the world. Not just to get into heaven, but so we can get heaven into us, and then give it away to others.
Every time I become too comfortable with a conclusion I have drawn, I find myself turned upside down by the words of God. I think that is the point of the Bible. It makes us uncomfortable because it confronts our very own prejudices. It calls for a radical reorientation of our values and what we would say is true. That is the very nature of God. He confronts our brokenness with the Good News, but just because news is GOOD, doesn’t mean it is easy. Anything that calls for change is hard. I pray that we will be open and not scared of what God’s word would say to us in confronting the living realities of our faith.
Join us Wednesday mornings at 10:00 in Room 10 for a great time of study and fellowship!
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