Driving to work tonight at Christian Horizons I got thinking about the complex person that I've become. You certainly can't accuse me of being stuck in a rut. I'm in a continual state of flux. Always changing...or, hopefully, maturing in my faith walk.
I'll share some of my thinking and then dare you to fit me in to one of the theological slots.
Here's where I've docked my ship at the present time. Maybe tomorrow I'll set sail again.
Theologically, I believe that the Scriptures are inerrant in the original autographs and are
our sole guide and authority for faith and practice. I believe in the sovereignty of God, human responsibility, the deity of Christ, the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit in the believer's life.
I don't believe that speaking in tongues in the initial evidence of the filling or baptism of the Holy Spirit. I don't believe that physical healing was guaranteed when Christ atoned for our sins. I believe that believers can have the Spirit of God resident within but not president. In other words He can inhabit the Christian but not be invited to fill and control the believer.
I believe that Jesus Christ is the only One who can provide salvation from our sins. I believe in the eternal security of the believer. As of today, August 13th, 2006, I still hold to a pre-tribulational, premillenial form of eschatology.
Regarding forms of worship, I'm most comfortable with the original Open Brethren style of communion...a Spirit-led, reverent gathering where Jesus Christ is the central figure. I enjoy the weekly partaking of the bread and wine. I don't care for the pre-planned service. The priesthood of all believers is a precious principle to me. The old hymns are my preferred musical taste. Although I have never been involved in a liturgical type fellowship of believers, I often long for the reverence and quietness that usually accompanies such forms of worship. I believe that when a Christian takes his/her seat in our sanctuaries and meeting places that all conversation with fellow congregants should cease and we should quietly prepare our hearts to worship the King, our Host.
I enjoy writers who are Calvinistic and those who take an Arminian stance. I'm still confused as to which side of the fence I pitch my tent. Rather than declaring myself a TULIP Calvinist, I choose to worship and adore the ROSE OF SHARON and refrain from theological debates on this ongoing topic.
I believe that living by faith and trusting God to supply my needs is both scriptural and scary. I adhere to the truth of Hebrews 11:1.
I believe in the value and necessity of world missions. I also wonder about the negative impact on missionaries' children when they are sent off to a Missions School hundreds of miles away from their parents.
Regarding the non-essentials...or the do's and don'ts that became extra baggage for Christians during my formative years...I still think it's wrong for ME (maybe not others) to drink any alcoholic beverages. Smoking is out of the question. I've never danced and never had the desire to. Even attending movies is still uncomfortable for me and I'm rarely in a movie theatre unless it's to watch a kid's flick with my sons. I don't even know to play cards. What a boring existence! On the contrary, my life is full, wierd, busy, unpredictable and often frustrating but it IS abundant!
Getting back to some other matters theological (???) I think it's completely within the realm of Christian orthodoxy to be contemplative and to seek "spiritual direction" and desire "spiritual formation". We have much to learn from some of the practices of others who differ from us theologically. Busy as I am, I long for solitude and quiet. I've seen the barrenness of a busy life and I long for a more contemplative lifestyle.
I could go on and on but I've shared just a few things with you.
Go ahead and try to pigeon hole me. I'll bet that if twenty of my readers (I thought I only had 10) took advantage of this exercise, I'd be slotted in different "pigeon holes" even though I've articulated some of my beliefs and preferences.
Just something to think about. I had to get this off my chest and onto my blog.
Called me mixed up if you wish.
I love you all!
So nice to get up during the night for a drink and give a quick check to my email and a couple of my favorite blog sites.
This is just precious!!
Did you say that you go to Welland Gospel Hall?..You believe the same things that we do here..with just one exception..
Now don't get me wrong. I have SEEN speaking in tongues.. I have watched Billy Graham doing this once when he was in China.He was preaching the Gospel, in English of course to thousands of the Chinese and the interpreter beside him was translating it so that those thousands of Chinese people could hear the message in their own tongue! What do you think about THAT David Fisher?
Now about going to shows... I remember that my two brothers and my sister and I snuck to a show in the summer of 1957....Well that "Lady In The Hat...she did find out!! [for sure and she had eyes in the back of her head, she did !]]and boy.. we sure paid the price!!
Although I have been tempted in all of my 49 years since, I have never gone to a movie because that dear little mother of mine believed in the Plymouth brethern brand of "corporal" punishment, if you know what I mean David.
Although she was tiny she taught us that the bigger you were the harder you fell!!
I never had the desire to smoke or drink and never went to a dance, until two months ago when I DID go to the school reunion dance so I could take pictures...
By the end of the evening [and I thought that it never WOULD end!],I sure did not feel too happy about it and then I thanked my mother [inside] for frowning down upon dances, althougn I must say that because she DIDN"T believe in the "do's and don'ts" of Christian living and DID give us a choice, we just knew that it was no place that we had to be.!
I truly believe in them...
When we were little children living out west the young lady that use to take us to Sunday School, was called of the Lord to serve Him in Africa. She told us years later that she asked the Lord to send someone to look after the Golden Family..
After all, those dear Christians from Brandon Manitboba used to drive 33 miles to Rivers, just to pick up our family of nine kids and mom to take us to Sunday School and gospel meeting every week..
Well the Lord DID send someone and Marion Ronald went to Africa..
Once a few years back she came home on furlough and we met her in Toronto to talk to her and she told us..."You know the Golden children were my training grounds for the mission field"...
And you know what David...Somehow I DIDN'T think that was a compliment!! Ha!!!
Take care now David and blessing on you for your good messages and keep looking up...I mean, look here!!
Your readership has gone up double!!!! .... from Terry
Interesting post, and definitely something to think about. I too prefer the Open Brethren style, which many people my age disagree with because they find it too old fashioned.
I think you're the complete opposite of mixed up! There are so many people today who don't really know what they believe and/or how to define it. I think it's good for all of us to write down (or even just keep a mental list) of our beliefs and standards. It's something I haven't done for a while, but will start to think over as the week progresses.
I think that views on dancing, smoking, drinking, etc are such a personal thing. Good for you for knowing what you believe in and sticking with it! My decision to abstain from drugs/smoking was partly due to my faith, partly due to the fact that I was probably the only one who paid attention in health class, and partly due to the fact that as an athlete, smoking and drugs are the worst things to put in to your body. I've been to some dances that consist of good clean fun, and others that I left after about five minutes. I'm a shy person, so if I never have to dance in front of anyone, that's fine with me! (Ironically, my friend and I took a class in ballroom dancing last year, and I love that! Go figure). As for drinking- young Christians today hear so many conflicting viewpoints, it's so hard to know what is right. I'm at the point in my life where, since I'm of legal age, a wine with dinner, etc, I feel is ok. Drunkness is wrong, I don't know of a Christian out there who would argue that. Maybe it's the ignorance that comes with youth?!
As a side note: thanks for your comment on my blog! I copied Romans 12:2 down and read if often.