Â encountered this a few days ago which helped me crystallise a few things that I had been thinking:-
http://thisfragiletent.wordpress.com/2009/04/23/1878/Â It is a long article, so my quotes are sparing. It is worth reading in full.
The guy relates a conversation with a friend:
â€˜He was talking about the need to get into the basics of Christianity, and how many of the young people (and some of the older ones) had very little basic knowledge of the tenets of our faith.
I thought about this for a while, and genuinely wondered about what these tenets were- and what I would teach young people if I was inÂ [ his]Â shoes.
â€œI think we modern Christians made two particular mistakes in our attempts to engage with God.
- We overvalued the Bible- wanting it to provide for us a textbook that creates a Christian, in the same way that a blueprint could make a balsa wood model plane.
- We overvalued the need to get our doctrine sorted- the finding and adopting of correct positions in relation to all aspects of faith.
That is not to say that these things are not both wonderful and important- but simply that we over-emphasised them- making them perhaps the only way that Christians could discover God. In order to make this stick, we had to pretend that there was only one way to read and understand the words, and to suppress all less tangible and less â€˜objectiveâ€™ spirituality- rendering it untrustworthy and dangerous.
So I am convinced that rightness of doctrine is not the precursor to being acceptable to God. It may be a consequence of this, but as far as I can see, God seems to tolerate a fairly wide spectrum.
As the guy says- this statement is shot through with faultlines (but isnâ€™t any statement, apart from the most bloodless?), but it made me think. Iâ€™m looking round at my community all the time right now and thinking â€˜what ifâ€™ and thinking Godâ€™s Spirit is active here- how do I plug in? Iâ€™m thinking about some of Mike Riddellâ€™s words that go along the lines of the Bible is the result of Godâ€™s passionate love affair with humanityâ€¦â€¦â€¦.and Iâ€™m thinking â€˜what passionâ€™â€¦I donâ€™t see much in the way that we read it, live it and talk about it (and I have to do something about it in a week or 2 to a bunch of 7-9 year olds)â€¦.
Just disjointed ideas at the moment, but that blog entry is really getting me thinking about passion, lifestyle, â€˜authentic livingâ€™â€¦â€¦..
Another quote from no one in particularâ€¦
â€˜I was born
I was born to sing for you â€¨
I didnâ€™t have a choice
But to lift you up
And sing whatever song you wanted me to
I give you back my voice
From the womb my first cry
It was a joyful noiseâ€™