As this year comes to a close, I thought I’d take some time to reflect on what has been a turbulent and yet remarkably fulfilling year. A year of great doctrinal stretching that has followed a number of years of dormancy.
Up until a year ago I could have been called a conservative, mildly charismatic evangelical. I held loosely to six day creationism and had recently rejected the Hal Lindsay end times scenario, however, both these sets of beliefs are outlined in the margins of my first bible. I’m not saying that I accepted every thing that was taught to me, I have always been like Doug Pagitt describes himself in A Christianity Worth Believing: “I am a contratian.” I have had both my wife and mother-in-law in tears because I destroyed long held beliefs that they held, so I have not been adverse to change.
However, this past year my faith has been re-wakened and all the filters that I used to viewed my world and to interpret scripture have been torn down. I no longer look at life through a conservative filter, nor a charismatic or evangelical filter. I’m not naive enough to think that I don’t still have filters but I am at least aware that they are there. I have in my arsonal a wide range of filters that I can knowingly pick up and look at the facts that are presented to me (including the old ones that I layed aside).
So what are the issuses that I have wrestled with?
- I would now call my self an evolutionary creationist.
- I am currently a strict pacifist. (Violence and the threat of violence is only valid for a political entity which the kingdom of God is not.)
- I believe that church should be a communitas and not an institution.
- I believe in Jesus’ definition of church leadership – that of a child or a slave (one without authority). Leadership in the kingdom should be leadership by example of character and of sound doctrine. Not lording doctrine but living it.
- I am post-charismatic.
- I have come to believe in a cross of cure not punishment. The cross was not the substitute for my punishment but the cure for my sin. This describes the God of love far better.
- And I am currently wrestling with the morality of a God that would create us with freewill set us up for failure; create a place of endless torment for those who fail; and send the majority of humanity to this eternal hell. If that is God then I am ready to walk away. If I, an evil man would not even submit an Adolf Hitler to such a destiny, then how much more a Heavenly Father.
I have been influence by:
- Bruxy Cavey
- The God Journey
- Frank Viola
- A Christian and an Atheist
- Any number of bloggers: robbymac, kingdom grace, brant hansen, barb, agent b,
My goal for this new year is to blog regularly. Not to add yet another voice to the conversation, though that may happen, but to be a record of the process I hope will continue into the coming year.
Don’t believe every thing you think!