In our last post we looked at the idea of evangelism being an invitation to join a shared faith journey. It’s not about presenting a completed theological package but a process of shared discovery as the Spirit unfolds truth. I ended that post with the idea that this is a better way not just because it “works” but more true to our Christian experience and calling.
One of the guiding principles of the Adventist church that I connect most deeply with is the idea of progressive truth. The early church founders were dead set against any kind of creed because they felt it would stop the church from growing in its understanding of God and his Word. I believe the church has gradually lost this sight of this guiding principle but it must be regained. Our greatest fear cannot be what new things God might reveal to us that would cause discomfort but instead remaining mired in our present understanding of the amazing God we all want to know.
Jesus serves as the model of someone who constantly challenged the status quo and opened eyes to new insights and ideas about who God was and what his plans were. He repeatedly butted heads with the Pharisees who didn’t like how he was destroying the neat boxes that had placed God in.
This different model also calls us to truly have a daily experience with God. We cannot just rely on a mental acceptance of “truth” that we can rattle off the top of our heads with ease. Instead, our lives will have to reveal that we are seeking for God to be the source and strength of our lives and the one who is leading our path. We'll have no choice but to spend time in communication with God through Bible study and prayer. We'll engage in service and seek to bring justice to the world. We will have healthy relationships and give selflessly. We might not be nor do it well all, or even most, of the time but we'll be on the path to getting there.
Who are you sharing your journey of faith with? I hope it’s not just fellow believers who think and act just like you. We need some of that, but God has called us outside of our safe boxes to enter into the world and partner with what God is up to already. That’s the good news in all this. It’s not all about us. It’s about finding where the Spirit is at work and allowing the Spirit to use us as he desires.