We’ve only just begun …
- God’s Son
- Heir of all creation
- Creator (with the Father) of the universe
- The reflector of God’s glory
- The exact image of God
- The sustainer of the universe, by merely speaking
- The one who made purification from sin
- In God’s position of power, even now
- Extremely superior to any idea we might have of angels
I am struck with how important this foundational theology is, and how lightly we treat it in the church. We might give new believers some kind of initiation into how our church works, but we don’t usually have series of classes in basic Christian beliefs. Thus, we have a church full of folks who pick up a little theology here and there—from Oprah, from TV, from music—and who are pretty much misguided.
Most of the sermons I hear are aimed at changing some kind of behavior, or some other therapeutic end, rather than understanding who God is and who Jesus is and why it all matters.
Most of the classes offered are about how to improve your marriage or how to manage your money or how to be a leader, rather than about what it means to be a Christian.
Many of the prayers I hear in church reflect some kind of modalism rather than solid trinitarian thought. It’s as if there is just one Godhead and you can call him whatever name you want, depending on the situation.
Recently, I asked who might be available in our church to lead a basic Bible study on the Gospel of Mark. I asked people who should know if there is anyone who could do a good job leading such a study. Crickets. And this is in a church of 500 on Sunday mornings.
I wrote recently about my despair. It is a real despair. I bet I could find several people who would be willing to teach a class about COVID and vaccines and the Christian, or about a Christian view of politics.
My response to this despair is to pull in. That may not be the right thing to do, but I’m old and sick and incapable of action. When I study the Bible, it has always been, for the last fifty years, aimed at what I can share with others. Now Bible study is just my personal refugee, the only place I can go and just be myself.
Please accept my very sincere apologies. I didn’t start this post in a cranky mood, nor did I intend to rant and rail about the church. Sometimes my stream of consciousness just takes over and you have to read me like I was James Joyce, if you read me at all.
I love Jesus. He is king of the universe. He is worthy of our trust and our loyalty.