Disclaimer: About This Blog

THIS BLOG IS: my personal journey of how I am rethinking some of my spiritual beliefs.
THIS BLOG IS NOT: intended to point fingers at people who I think are wrong.
I do not believe the final judgement will be based on how many correct answers we get on a theology exam. I believe many people throughout history have had genuine relationships with our Lord and Saviour Jesus, despite holding questionable beliefs and practices. I make no claim to having it all figured out or being your judge. If we end up disagreeing over these topics I pray we can find a way to demonstrate grace.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Faith Journey course change

God has taken me on a bit of a journey in the past few years... not sure where it is all going, but I'll try recording some of it here.

I've identified myself as a Christian since I was a young child. I grew up a pastor's kid. My parents worked with Village Missions, which placed us in small interdenominational churches in very small villages in northern Manitoba and Alberta. Until the past few years my view of Christ's Church was limited to conservative protestant evangelical churches like Baptists, Alliance, and other congregations who refer to themselves as 'Bible believing'. I didn't have much exposure to people following Christ from other church traditions, so I assumed that my limited view was the best and only view.

My journey started changing course with a read of "Exploring Church History" by Perry Thomas.  It explored 20 centuries of Christ's people - highlighting the good and bad that have been done in the name of Christ during each era. I recognized that Christ's church was alive and well long before any current trends in christianity. Throughout history Christ followers have been part of many different traditions and denominations, and much good has been done by the different groups. Perry Thomas also highlighted the current movement that God has been placing on the hearts of many to bring His fragmented Church back into fellowship with each other. 

My journey then continued by trying to gain respect and understanding of some of the other major denominations that I had previously had little understanding of. During these years we struggled with questions like: 

  • "which church is best?" 
  •  "How can there be 30,000 denominations that share the same core message of Jesus, yet have differences that keep them apart." 
  • What can be done in response to Christ’s Prayer for His followers in John 17:20-23 (NIV) "My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. "

OK... I can see this blogging thing is going to take some time. I'll post more later...


Anonymous said...

looking forward to reading your blog jon...

in your reference to john 17:20-23, i'm wondering what sort of thought you've given in identifying the elements, the characteristics, the nuances of the unity that jesus had with the father? in other words, what was the basis of their unity? what could have caused that unity to be broken (hypothetical of course since it wouldn't have happened)? seems to me that this is a critical question in trying to identify or answer the question of what christian unity should look like if our unity is to be a picture or have a resemblance of the unity that jesus and the father experienced. just some thoughts for your consideration.

mercy on you brother...

mrjhutton said...

Thanks for reading these initial thoughts Steve,

I think love and respect would need to be key elements to Unity. It is tough to grasp what the trinity is all about, but it could be viewed as something like the ideal family. They may each have different personalities, thoughts and desires - but when it came to decisions and action they agree to submit to each other and work as one (Jesus prayed Not my will by thine be done).

Within families we often disagree and have different viewpoints, but things tend to work best when we apply a good measure of love and respect towards each other and submit to the best interest of each other.