Today, during my office hours, I felt called to brush up on some theology. I have a book titled Chalice Introduction to Disciples Theology and I was reading through the section title "Theology and the Bible." Now, before I dive into this, let me share that theology is not a word to be scared of. It is simply a churchy word that means what we believe about the divine, so the section I was reading was based around how we view God through the lens of the Bible.
It is quite interesting to me that there have been many occasions where myself or my colleagues or my denomination has been called out as "not being Biblical," however our tradition has a deep history of the Bible being the only true source for us. Now, you may be thinking, wait, don't you use other sources to help understand and build sermons and teaching and whatnot. Well, you would be correct. The foundational idea is that our commonality through our denomination is that the Bible is our cornerstone book. We do not have a book of governance or ways in which we have to worship or do things, in fact we encourage everyone to read and engage with scripture for themselves. We actively engage other sources and criticism (which are just scholarly looks at scripture) to help us better understand, but we always go back to the Bible.
This has lead me to understand that while some may say we are not biblical, our stance has been rooted and continues to work through scripture as our guiding force. Now, this is not the only thing I was reflecting on today, but it did get my going on my thinking about things.
Right now I am taking a class on globalization, ethics and the church which is really getting the brain juices flowing on thinking about the place of church and religion in the world today. I know there are many who have been driven away, who still have faith but do not believe in the organized institution of religion, and that makes me sad but I understand. At one point in my life I was not certain I would ever go back to organized church but part of me felt a call to re-engage with the institution to help bring about a better future that God is calling for it. You see, churches are one of the last places, that are not their employers, that encourage adults to grow, to learn, to expand their horizons.
Church offers a place for community, for pooling resources for mission, for taking time out of the daily grind to just be present with others. Spiritual Health is an area of growing concern in this world, and the spirit does not have to be fed by the institution of religion, but if we work to foster the growth of healthy churches and faith enviroments, we can make a differece in the health of the this world. It will take work and learning and growing and making mistakes, but as Church we have been called to serve others and to do God's work in the world. So we need to try and be open to what God has in store.
We are going to do this through worship, study, community building and challenging ourselves to grow.
In Christ's Love,