14 Mar A Dynamic Faith Box
In order for us to have a dynamic faith, we must not accept the status quo. We should all be afraid of being lukewarm and be willing to do what needs to be done to shake things up and break free from our spiritual rut. The goal is for us to experience transformational growth on a personal level, all the while using our God given gifts to build up the Church.
Here is one great way to foster life transformation. Be willing to be with people who challenge what you believe. We all have what I call a box of beliefs. Our box is filled with beliefs that we as individuals have picked up in our life experiences; from our personal study of the Bible, influences from what our family and friends believe, what our church taught us. They may be accurate or inaccurate. Many beliefs may not matter, but may be a precious difference that adds diversity to the church.
Of course, I am not talking about questioning the essential beliefs of the Bible which are:
- The Authority of Scripture
- Triune God – Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit: self-existent, eternal, unchanging, omnipotent, omnipresent, holy, righteous, and loving.
- Mankind is physical and spiritual, yet fallen, having a sin nature.
- Jesus Christ – Fully God and fully man, died on the cross to redeem humankind from his sinful nature.
- Salvation – By grace through faith in Jesus’ atonement
- Church – An assembly of believers
We have 44,000 denominations that have split the Church because of a variety of reasons from slavery, baptism, the timing of the rapture, eternal security, structure etc. Most believers have strong feelings about these issues, I do. I don’t mind distinction in minor beliefs and practices, but I contend that the church has far too much division. Rather than remaining united and wrestling with those differences of interpretations we have divided. I think we would be much stronger of we stay together struggle with the differences and unify against evil. Don’t we all agree that we are followers of Jesus and that the Bible is our source of truth? The group of 12 disciples were as diverse as any church group. Yet Jesus demanded that they love each other with their differences. He also prayed that the Church would be one as He and the Father are one. (John 17:20-23)
My experience in the house church has been that, as I interact with others, I am pulled into a more balanced understanding. One will talk about an emphasis on mans free will and another on the sovereignty of God. If both allow their own box to be challenged they will learn balance.
Here is my practical point when it comes to the house church gatherings. Study a chapter of the Bible together and discuss it and how it applies to life. Allow everyone in the group to contribute as Paul says in 1Cor. 14:26, “…When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church.” Consider the following when you gather in the house church:
- Be willing to listen to someone who has an opposing interpretation of a Bible passage.
- Listen carefully to the young or new believer. I have gained great insight to what the Holy Spirit has revealed to them.
- Be willing to evaluate your box of beliefs based on the discussion. Perhaps you need to grow in an area, allow your box to adjust if necessary.
- I believe this process of interaction and discussion is a great way to deter false teaching and deception.
- By having an open atmosphere to discuss opposing views, new believers will be comfortable participating and asking questions.
- If an opposing view doesn’t stand up to the test of scripture, then you have affirmed that what you believe is solid. And perhaps you have helped another find truth.