I’m not being nostalgic, but I am thankful for the journey thus far. There are lessons learned that still accompany me into all that may yet be. “What would your life truths be that you would share given the opportunity?” That is a question that seemed to speak from a deep place this morning. I share it with you.
I have learned not everyone is interested in what has most impacted me. That’s ok. I have lived the born from above life long enough now to see that sometimes I need more renewing of the wine skin which is called “Kenny” to receive what I once pushed away. I remember that when what I consider treasure seems to be discarded by others as commonplace or even worthless and something to be sneered at.
The dangers of proudly considering ourselves “the remnant.”
Prompted by listening to a YouTube talk by a man who believes that he and his church and denomination are the last examples of true Christianity in Scotland, I thought of words of Moltmann. The symptoms of such an outlook “include the preservation of tradition without the attempt to found new tradition; biblicism without liberating preaching; increasing unwillingness to undergo new experience with the gospel and faith, and the language of zealotry and militant behaviour in disputes within the church.”
As I often think when I read something or even write or preach something, “Lord, is it I?”
Those who have an emphasis in their ministry that is not mine are usually genuinely following something in the teaching or life of Jesus that they passionately believe. After decades I see that, though it is not an easy or comfortable awareness to live with..far easier to arrogantly dismiss them in anger or irritation without a thought.
It’s good to take a look at ourselves and ask occasionally, “What particular word of Jesus am I living out at this moment in time with an intentionality that seems to have the weight of the Spirit in it?” It is good to make generous room for the idea that those other individuals you are looking at may be asking that very question too. By the way it is good for leadership of individual congregations/fellowships/ ministries/ para church works etc. to ask the same question and give similar generosity to leadership in other settings that they may be asking precisely that question before their Lord and ours.
This is a million miles away from “anything goes!” Like Paul we should be ready to oppose even Apostles of God when they are in error. The same should be done with Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers or anyone else who departs from the truth of Christ. I am “happy reluctantly” to do that… have done so and will continue to be willing so to do unless,to use Jesus own imagery, it would be throwing pearls to pigs, in which case there is biblical backing in the Old and New Testament not to bother. I hope others will do the same towards me when I am in error. Truth matters.