Saturday, September 03, 2005

To Clarify

I just read over my last post, and decided that I wanted to expand on something. I don't think denominations are bad things, in fact I thank God for them. I think that, as Peter said, they are "ministering God's grace in its various forms". I think denominations provide areas where people of differing viewpoints and tastes can go to find God. My church is quite a production. We may open with a full band blasting out Switchfoot and stream in a video that pertains to today's message. We look like a theater/ coffeehouse. I am totally jazzed about what we are doing (I moved out to Salt Lake to serve here). However, there are countless churches in this valley that are just as on the cutting edge of God's will with their hymns, liturgies, and pews.

I love reading Catholic authors. I am reading Mother Teresa right now and she is blowing my world apart. There is a charismatic church near here that has a great coffee house.

I would attend many churches - Catholic, Lutheran, Presbyterian, whatever... Perhaps someday I will become a member at one. However, I could never become one. It seems to me that when you call yourself a ___________ you lock yourself in to a very static system of doctorine. My spiritual beliefs now are very different from what they were 20 years, 10 years, 5 years ago (just read some of my early blogs). Some things that I was so convinced of 15 years ago, I now count as near hearesy. What does that say about how I feel now? How will I feel 5 years from now? I get nervous when a church has a statement of beliefs... why do we need that? There are a number of items in my church's statement that I don't necessarily buy. I think they should be made simple, if at all....
So what do I believe? Here are the basics... minus the doctorine (I love doctorine, but it is not neccessary for a rich life in Christ)
  • There is a God and he is Good and he loves people
  • I need to love him with all my heart
  • I need to love others around me like he does
  • Everyone I know (including me) needs to know Jesus better than he or she did yesterday - so therefore I relate to everyone the same, regardless of where they are spiritually right now
  • Jesus Christ came into this world to save sinners... of whom I am foremost

I have to toddle off to bed now. I have to get up way early since tomorrow I am on Tech for the first time at church (bye Spruce, it was fun).


Kifer said...

I think what denominations offer people is unfortunately what I dislike most about mankind, the inability to think for ones self. If I belong to a certain denomination I don't have to think, study, and decide for myself what I believe. All I have to do is follow that doctorine. So does that make for weak Christians? In my experience "Yes." I'm curious how one gets to know Jesus better if not through this relationship. I don't think anyone would consider it a good relationship if a husband told his wife everything to say, do, and believe. I love your addition of you being the foremost sinner who needs saved. I think that is what turns my stomach about a lot of Christians. They seem to have this belief that everyone else needs saving, and the more "they" save, the closer "they" get to God. I highlight "they" only to show the selfishness of such a belief. I'm pretty sure God calls us to be selfless.

Peace out for now!

Brook said...

Why do we need a statement of beliefs? hmm... sounds like a plea for relativism to me. how about "We Believe Stuff. But We Could Be Wrong"

Steve said...

I think many of us growing up in a "born-again, evangelical, charasmatic" environment we prided ourselves on not being a denomination. That we only followed the Holy Spirit. Suddenly the Holy Spirit meant nothing more than a number of fast songs, some slow songs, and then the message. The biggest leading of the Holy Spirit was whether the announcements were going to come at the begiinning, middle, or end of the service. (And where did that term "service" come from?) In the end we became just another denomination catering to a group of people who desired to worship in a particular way.

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