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.

Monday, May 25, 2009

What I used to Believe

I've read a few bloggers do similar posts here, here, and here. The format of the meme is what one used to believe contrasted by what one believes now. Here is my list:

I used to believe a small number of denominations were correct enough to make the cut. I was very confident the narrow road to salvation was filled with conservative protestant evangelical churches like Baptists, Alliance, and other congregations who refer to themselves as 'Bible believing'. I now think there are many outside this group who have true love for the same Jesus I love, and are seeking to allow Jesus to reign in their lives.

I used to think very little about church unity. Now I think unity is essential to our faith. If there is less scriptural support for any other issue we are debating than there is on the topic of unity then we need to recognize that maintaining unity is more essential.

I used to think protestants followed the doctrine of Sola Scriptura. Now I realize that a lot of language used by protestants is not found in the Scriptures (Sola Scriptura, saved by faith alone, Jesus paid our debt, and more). A lot of protestant language has been passed on through protestant tradition. If all traditions stuck to language that is strongly supported in Scripture, we would have much less division.

I used to believe the gospel message could be summarized using verses from Romans - following the 'Roman Road' method. Now I believe a complete gospel message must start with an understanding of the good news of the kingdom of God. This message was central to the life and teachings of Jesus, it should be the starting point in our description of the good news.

I used to believe the wicked were punished in hell for eternity. Now I can't find much scriptural support for that idea.

I used to think the Bible and 'church' leaders were to teach me all things. Now I realize I need to rely more on the Holy Spirit to teach me all things (John 14:26, John 16:13, 1 John 2:27)

I used to believe the Bible should be used as a road map on all issues of morality. Now I realize the harm that is often caused when the Bible is used give support to any issue. I question if the Bible gives clear answers on all issues. I think we should focus on the main good news of the reign of God. I still think it is wise to look to scripture and study what it has to say on all issues. But if it is outside the central message of scripture, let's not get too dogmatic about it - and seek the Holy Spirit to guide us forward.

I used to be a Calvinist. I didn't know the whole story of John Calvin and the other leaders in his church. Now I'd rather just follow Christ.

I used to say 'church' to refer to a location, event, and/or building. Now I get confused trying to describe all those things. I try to use 'church' to refer to Christ's church.

I used to think it was dangerous to not have everything figured out. Now I think it is dangerous to think you have God figured out. If you have God in a box, you'll likely exclude everyone who has a different looking 'God box'. And again, I believe unity is essential. Now I'm content having faith like a child.

2 comments:

Alan Knox said...

Jon,

Thanks for taking part in this. I definitely appreciate your views about "God in a box". It is so hard to let God out of my box... to trust completely in him and not my understanding of him.

-Alan

Jonathan said...

Thanks Alan for the comments. Yes, I'm becoming more and more OK with not having everything about God figured out. The stuff that is really clear in Scripture - Yes. The rest can wait till the Holy Spirit leads.

God bless!