“God’s concerns are all-embracing — not only the ‘sacred’ but the ‘secular’, not only religion but nature, not only His covenant people but all people, not only justification but social justice in every community, not only His gospel but His law. So we must not attempt to narrow down His interests. Moreover, ours must be as broad as His.” – John Stott
I felt like I was back in a YITS class this morning. The sermon was on Social Justice type issues (but drew far enough away from them to not just be another ‘campaign’ or movement). It was an extremely well done sermon.
Part of it made me think about where I stand with individualism and this became more clear when I was talking with Jess after church about, “What does chuch mean?”
Church can’t possibly just be a gathering point for believers one day a week, if so, that is entirely pathetic and frankly I don’t want to be part of something like that.
There should be consitency to life and life as part of the church which prompts it as an on-going (daily) thing.
Please don’t mention the ‘church is the people’ thing, because I know that and I’ve heard that, but we don’t go much beyond that defintion as to what the people should actualy be doing.
I am curious whether I have moved on slightly from the individualistic way I used to view Christianity. Even across this year. I know what is right and all, I know there is a massive amount of “Us” when it comes to God and to Christianity. The Trinity being a part of that, but yet I have spent a lot of this year, particularly early on working on shaping me. Letting God build/alter/change/grow/inhabit/stretch my character. Dealing with ‘issues’, challenging myself, letting others and God challenge me. Focusing in even on specifics.
I’m not saying that there is any harm in that. But in looking for a church it entirely highlights the bigger picture of what I within something can be/do. You can’t live a Christian life for yourself. You can’t possibly go the Western individualistic way, you hit walls of non-possiblity, minimal opportunity and inhibited space for growth.
You get vastly lonely.
I am wondering perhaps if God is pressing that button in me which label says, ‘external’. I don’t know exactly what that means. I do feel dry, flat and bored when I’m not learning something or other. I hate not being challenged. I haven’t particularly felt that in a while.
Thanks Sam for pointing out what you did the other day w/ my ‘crisis afternoon’ post. Where did the other person stand when I was not in complete control?
I don’t I think that I understand very well God’s bigger picture. You can talk all you like about ‘mission’ and ‘evangelism’ and ‘justice’, but you can’t just know it or chase it like it’s the ultimate purpose of man until something in you alters. I find it difficult to explain and I’ll probably look back on this and think, “Okay, what were you thinking Rebecca?”
I am reminded again of the phrase, ‘being follows doing’. Which is an intersting thought. We can go about doing the stuff before we ‘feel it’. Where does passion derive from?
God’s plan is not indivualistic, or he would have just made Adam.
Community is something that I was intending to find in doing YITS, and I did find it. The problem now is that I’ve lost it and I don’t have a ‘backup’ or an ‘alternative’, because I don’t have a church base, a youth group, a young adults group.
Online community has a different place in my life and I am more involved than I perhaps thought I would ever be, its something I value and find I can contribute (be part of) to. But it is not quite the same.
I would sincerly like to have a group of people around me where we could just go and do something decent for the world. Locally, globally whatever.
The previously talked about plan of starting something up next year (with Jess etc.) is still on hold, but I think it needs to happen and I have a feeling I might again play a bigger part than ever originally intended.
Shelve those Bible stuides for a while, they have their place, but there are other ways to learn about where God’s heart lies, then bring the words back to where they match your life. Parallel the two and have feet in both. Let your action match your words. Your dilligence, your passion.
At the moment, my life is: work and Gush, a bit of social life and church on Sundays. That’s far more good than what many can boast, but to be honest, aside from some of the gush stuff, it’s really not very fulfiling.