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.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

My 95 Thesis

"Out of love for the truth and the desire to bring it to light, the following propositions will be discussed at Wittenberg, under the presidency of the Reverend Father Martin Luther, Master of Arts and of Sacred Theology, and Lecturer in Ordinary on the same at that place. Wherefore he requests that those who are unable to be present and debate orally with us, may do so by letter.

In the Name our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen."
http://www.conradaskland.com/blog/2008/11/martin-luthers-95-theses-in-latin-and-english/

I understand Martin Luther's desire with his 95 thesis was not to start a new denomination or branch of Christianity, but to start dialog. My desire is the same. I doubt I'll get to 95, but I do have some points of concern with protestant evangelicalism that I believe are worth dialoging on.

I don't want to create new divisions. I want to start by affirming the common belief of all Christ followers that Jesus is Lord. He is Lord of my life. And this dialog is intended for those who confess that he is Lord of their lives. If we share a common Lord, and He is ruling in our hearts and lives and not our own selfish ambitions, let's put aside our agenda's and seek God as we approach these topics. If we are one with Christ, even in the midst of disagreement I believe He will direct us to maintain unity.

I'm also not assuming I have it all figured out. I may be wrong on a number of these issues. But I ask you to consider my concerns and seek God for the truth.

Point #1: Unity

Are we joining Christ's prayer for unity - or working against it?
Click here for more on this topic, and share your thoughts.

Point #2: Gospel

What was the gospel message Jesus and his disciples preached?
Would this same gospel message work today?
Click here for more on this topic, and share your thoughts.

Point #3: God is Love

Does our God love us or hate us? Seems like a simple question, yet God is often portrayed as an angry God who hates the world...
Click here for more on this topic, and share your thoughts.

Point #4: Hell

Does Scripture say Hell is eternal punishment? Or does it teach that the wages of sin is death, perishing, being destroyed, a second death, or not getting to live for eternity?
Click here for more on this topic, and share your thoughts.

Point #5: Calvinism

I'm concerned at the level of influence Calvinism has within 'protestant evangelicalism'.
Click here for more on this topic, and share your thoughts.

Point #6: Membership

I'm concerned that the way we do church membership does more harm to the unity of Christ's body than good.
Click here for more on this topic, and share your thoughts.

Point #7: Magic 8 Ball

Does the Bible give clear answers on all issues? I`m concerned with the tendency in Christian circles to try to find answers to every question in the pages of Scripture.
Click here for more on this topic, and share your thoughts.

Point #8: Sola Scriptura

Does Scripture teach Sola Scriptura? Is Sola Scriptura an essential to the faith? I'm concerned we may place a greater emphasis on a book than on the two things Jesus did leave with us to guide us.
Click here for more on this topic, and share your thoughts.


Point #9: Money

Money for poor is emphasized in New Testament. Money for buildings, staff, and programming... not so much. Does Christ's Church need a budget?
Click here for more on this topic, and share your thoughts.

Point #10: Denominations

Where do we get the idea that having different denominations is acceptable? Is Christ's church divided? Are we dividing Christ's body? Or are we assuming that our denomination is the only real church?
Click here for more on this topic, and share your thoughts.

Point #11: Sermon Centered

Why has our gatherings become centered around a sermon? Why does the body of Christ, the royal priesthood, sit passively listening to the same person speak week after week? There is nothing wrong with a good sermon. But are we missing out on something better?
Click here for more on this topic, and share your thoughts.

Point #12: Leadership

Of course, in any gathering there will be some who lead others. But does the church need leaders who make decisions for the body? Or should the leaders simply be the ones who are living as examples that others should follow? And what about the use of titles common to church leaders?
Click here for more on this topic, and share your thoughts.

Point #13: Temple Worship

When you look at the Old Testament model it is easy to identify the temple, priests and sacrifices of worship. There are specific holy places, holy people, and holy actions. When you look at the modern church practices and beliefs it is a bit confusing.
Click here for more on this topic, and share your thoughts.


OK, I likely won't get close to 95... and Luther's 95 wasn't really 95 separate issues either... but I may post a few more points here in the future to organize my concerns...

5 comments:

brotherjohnny said...

Thought you might appreciate this (didn't know if you were aware of it).

http://ajesusmanifesto.wordpress.com/

Jonathan said...

Yes, thanks. I like this
"Christians don’t follow Christianity; Christians follow Christ."

Mr.Marx said...

Why does any of this matter, you can never convince everyone, and if you ever do, eventually people will change it, and twist your words.

Jonathan said...

Thanks Mr. Marx for the visit and the comments. I agree, I'm not expecting to convince everyone that I'm right, and that I've got it all figured out. But why does it matter? Well, it's my journey, and I'd like to try to sort out what I believe - not just let other people decide what I should believe. I think dialog around what we believe can be a good thing.

Jesus Loves Me said...

I went to the link Brother Johnny posted above(jesusmanifesto)and while some of the points of the book seem right on, be careful because that book is co-authored by Leonard Sweet who is pushing the Emergent Church. If you google Leonard Sweet New Age or Leonard Sweet Emergent Church or Leonard Sweet Quantum Spirituality you will see many things to read about him that will open your eyes. Lighthouse Trails also covers him: http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/leonardsweet.htm

In this late hour of the church, unity has been ruined on purpose by those who oppose Christianity and have on purpose brought in heretical teachings so while I agree we should be supportive of Christian brothers and sisters and love one another, we have to make sure we are not embracing those who are agents planted in the church to divide the sheep away from Scripture, and from what true Christianity is, like how the Emergent Church or New Age is doing.

In closing, I like your website even though I haven't read very much of it because I too have a website that is mainly so I can figure out what I believe and lay it all out - it may help someone too just like your thoughts help others who also question the same things you do. You have a good attitude too, not arrogant or lording over others, just being a Christian with thoughts and questions, which is a good thing, God never told us to shut our brains off! : )

God bless you on your journey Jon!
Lori