Dabar [theme]

He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou find refuge: His truth is a shield and buckler
Psalms 91:4

Be it ours,when we cannot see the face of God, to trust under the shadow of His wings. C.H. Spugeon

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Challenge of Belief

" ... every temporal expression of eternal truth becomes inadequate, and so needs to be replaced by another expression, adequate to its time's historical situation. That, however, means that traditions have either given up old formulations, not as false, but as for a former time, or if that is not done, outmoded versions will co-exist as news ones arise to face the successive contemporary situations."

" ...the eternal content of belief and failing to understand that any time-bound expression of what is eternal will contain an outmoded "worldview" in later times. There is an extraordinary naivete and confusion about how to relate the gospel to honest, well-informed people today."

These are very insightful comments on the condition of the Church today and the overview of how many are grappling with the 'worldview' taken on by many Christians and the subsequent inclusion of many asides to fundamental Christian Doctrines that are being 'added' to The Way.

This is not a new battle for the Church and the fight for 'Truth' as an absolute and fully contained concept or belief in God, and that God as represented by the life, death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ. The Gospel message will stand the test of time, however of concern is whether the Church will stand as the revealed truth of God lived out in submission to a Lord.

The Gospel demands obedience immediately upon belief in its validity and that without question. The current state of affairs with regard to truth and belief is that questioning is a valid expression of faith. I do not deny the need to honestly examine beliefs nor condemn those who doubt, this is part of life, however to include doubt as part of the language of the Gospel is ennobling the nature of man and attempting to make it Divine.

Acts 4:12 "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."

There is no allowance for deviation from that essential truth and as Christians we stand on shaky ground with regard to these words which condemn not only other beliefs and/or faiths, but, condemn all areas of life which we call sin and which others view as constraints to their freedom of expression. The essential belief of Christianity moves from the point of acceptance of God as the only true Lord of All to requiring submission and obedience to His will. In this pluralistic society in which all things are seen as leading to God or an expression of God this places us in a controversial position of condemnation just by our being present.
There is no resolution to the quandary we are in as Christians, to be part of the world destroys are calling as 'a peculiar (unique) people' and to stoically live apart results in discrimination as 'a peculiar (unique) people'.
The question of the Church has become a question of discipleship. We have discovered that we can stand and survive as Christians by our own fortitude, on the strength of our nature and at the bidding of our pride. We can face the crises and strain of the day and live. We believe we are walking on the water, when in reality we are stumbling and crawling on dry ground. Maybe we don't care enough anymore, and that is the condemnation, not that God loves us, but that, while we are sinners God loves us.
We all come into relationships with temperaments, prejudices and idiosyncrasies which are determinant of who we are as people. God has no interest in those areas of our life nor does He have any inclination to make those things of special interest. The foot of the cross is level ground. The cost of that redemption requires an unconditional surrender and a simple perfect trust in God, if we attempt to make God a witness to our ability to reason we will never arise from a state of darkness and perplexity.
All reasoning and argument are lost in the debate of whether can God deliver me from sin. If you believe He can than let Him do it, or tell Him he can't.

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