December 15, 2011
“We could be on the verge of another great reformation”
A Pastor quoting someone else.
This past spring I began working on a book that was going to be entitled “New Depth” it was a collection of my essay’s that have been released over the years, redefined with my changed theological stance. After a conversation with a friend and God’s continued changing of How I viewed both Him and theology I quit working on the book, and no I don’t have any plans to pick it up again.
The premise of the book was that there was and is a need for renewed depth in Christian Faith. with the onslaught of the seeker friendly movement that has created what I call “Toothpick Christianity” Christians who were an early part of that movement find themselves searching again for answers.
They had been introduced to a God who simply loved them, a Christian faith without the atrocities of a brutal cross. Told by their pastors that God was simply going to make them happy, that Jesus was their friend and that we were all going to heaven. Taught that if they were struggling then it was because of something they had done. Christians who didn’t understand that God also corrects us, teaches us and reforms us, and that reformation is painful.
Christians without a foundation, without a full view of God as sustain-er in time of need. They were taught that religion was a dirty word and that the standards set by Jesus weren’t meant to be taken as rules but more as guidelines, and don’t worry you don’t really have to follow them, that’s what grace is for.
Passionate on the surface from they were like the seed that fell on the thorny ground. They’re fire quickly died they became cold in their faith and some fell away. The church of seeker friendly faith kept converting people, creating more toothpick Christianity, meanwhile those who remained rooted in the faith began to feel empty, they began to seek out a new answer to their questions. “This couldn’t be right, there’s no way this is right!” they said to themselves
Suddenly a new cry for depth had been raised. What was faith? what did it mean o be on fire for God? Maybe there’s more than just being happy? Maybe God wants more from me than just my worship on Sunday? Maybe there’s a firm foundation?
My friends we must learn the foundations of our faith! The message of the cross, the message of the gospels. We must allow God to reform our ideas and transform our minds. We can’t engage in the conversation if what the conversation is saying is wrong. We are called to be in the word so let’s be in the word. Let’s return to the message of the gospel and retreat to the mighty fortress of our God. We are Children of God and Children have to have discipline but we won’t learn how to be disciplined until we learn the standards God has set.
So what do we do? we learn to pray, we learn to study, we learn to do exegesis. As leaders we learn to lead, to serve to love. Here is the call for depth, the call to come back to the Gospel. To reform our theology and discover once again the gospel free from the countless restrictions of fundamentalism and the extreme social gospel.
“It’s like this” my friend Pastor Joel Wood told me once. “reformed theology is like playing on a mountain top, you can either have a fence and have fun in the fence. Or you can get rid of the fence and put yourself in danger.” So let’s adopt again the reformed theology and instead of pretending, really, truly be free.