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.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Purpose of Family

What is the purpose of family?

As a parent of two young children, I'd rather not think about it. But if I must think of what the long term purpose is, I think I'd say something like this:

To create an environment where my children are supported and trained so they can mature and grow into responsible adults. The goal is that they will grow up, leave home, live a fulfilling life and likely start their own family.

How does that sound? Am I missing something?

I'm not the expert on this... but lately I've been seeing parallels between family and how I view church life.

Do you think we should view church life in a similar way as we view family?

Should we expect new believers to grow up and mature in their faith to the point that they go out and continue to build the church family elsewhere. Like parenting, it's likely hard to push the kids out of the nest when they are ready. But shouldn't we be preparing for this?

The traditional church does well with this as long as the mature believer is moving far away to build up the church in a different location. These people are called missionaries and church planters. But how often are believers encouraged go build the church in a setting next door? That would likely be viewed as competition and breaking unity.

Should we try to keep the whole family together under one roof? Just keep building bigger buildings and programs? Just keep feeding baby food as long as possible since maturity isn't really required?

How do you think the early church operated?

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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Kingdom for all Races

Continuing my series on the secrets of the kingdom. I believe the secrets of the kingdom of God have been given to us (Matthew 13:11). This kingdom message is the reason Jesus came (Luke 4:43). So I'm examining different passages on this topic.

Here Jesus words to a (non-Jewish) centurion who had faith in Jesus:

Matt 8:10-12 (NIV)

When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

I think the main point Jesus is making here is that the kingdom of God is for people of all races who have faith in him. This was a new way of thinking for the Jews of Jesus day. It took the early church some time to accept it.

Elements of racism have existed in the church from time to time throughout church history. But there is no place for racism in Christ's kingdom.

Some additional thoughts:
  • This passage could be talking about a present tense kingdom or reign of God, or a future reality. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are part of this kingdom, and others from all over will (soon?) come and join this kingdom. Or maybe Jesus was talking about a future reality that has still not come. See also Luke 16:16, Luke 17:21, Matt 21:32 , Matt 16:28, Mark 12:32-34, Luke 18:17
  • The kingdom of God is sometimes described in terms of the kingdom of light vs the kingdom of darkness. Here is another reference where those who are no longer in the kingdom are thrown out into darkness.
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