Getting StartedOK, I've finally decided to take the plunge into the "blogsphere" and add my voice to the thousands (millions?) screaming to be heard! The irony is that I'm not sure who will hear me, if anyone, and yet I feel compelled to write.
So many thoughts are swimming around in this head of mine that I wish I had an outlet to share. And so, now I do!
At first, I thought of doing a blog specifically related to simple church (house church, organic church...insert your preferred label here), but there are topics I would love to write about that really have nothing to do with that topic specifically. So, I am making this a more general "Theological Musings" blog, realizing that many of my posts will head in the simple church direction.
I realize that "Theological Musings" is not only a stuffy title, but is largely inaccurate, too. Well, the "musings" part is accurate. But "theological"? Theology is technically the "study of God." While I'm sure some of my posts will actually discuss the character and nature of God, it is more a collection of thoughts about how we relate to God, not about Who He is. In my opinion, Who He is is rather simple. He is God -- the eternal Creator, Sustainer, Redeemer..... But in the course of what we know as human history, God has chosen to reveal Himself in a way that allows us to have a personal relationship with Him. It is the outworking of that personal relationship that interests me the most. But, when it boils down to it, blogger.com wanted me to give this a title, and I couldn't think of anything that would really identify it without ending up with a URL like Meandering-Thoughts-of-a-Christian-Guy-Trying-to-Find-the-Truest-Expression-of-that-Christianity.blogspot.com! And who would remember that URL to type it in the first time?! :)
So, for now, at least, "Theological Musings" it is, with all of its flaws. During the lifespan of this blog, I intend to talk about topics that interest me in addition to the aforementioned simple church topic. Topics such as worship, American patriotism, holiness, end-times prophecy....you name it.
A couple ground rules, though, if you choose to read and respond:
- Please understand that these are merely my musings, and I am not trying to judge anyone else. While at times, you may find me very passionate about a topic, I do not in any way claim to have all the answers, or even to fully understand the things about which I write.
- If you choose to respond, please do so without judging me or others. I am not interested in flame wars, name-calling, finger-pointing, gun-pointing, threats, labels......can't we all just get along? ;) Seriously, I love discussion, even passionate, lively discussion. But if you're just responding to call me a heretic, you might just find your post being deleted! Unless, of course, you say it in love...... ;)
- From time to time, I will touch on some "sacred cows". It is not my desire to offend anyone, and these thoughts are solely representative of my own thinking. Do not assume that anything I say represents any other person, organization, or group.
OK, you're probably at this point wanting to know about where I fit into the current series of labels assigned to various Christian groups. Well, get used to disappointment!! ;) hehe I'm not very big on labels. I can, however, confidently share with you my "short list" of essential doctrines to which I subscribe and which I believe are absolutes. Everything else, in my opinion, is "up for grabs" and can be discussed without questioning if someone is truly saved. You ready? This list may seem a lot shorter than you are expecting, and it may upset some that I have left certain "pet doctrines" of theirs off this list. Well, so be it. These are the things I believe are absolutely essential for one to call themselves a Christian, and for me to recognize them as my brother or sister in the Lord:
- Jesus Christ is God in the flesh
- Jesus Christ died for the sins of all mankind, was buried, and literally rose from the dead to live forever.
- Jesus Christ is the only way to the Father, and there is salvation in no other person, doctrine, or belief.
- Each individual's eternal destiny will be determined by their relationship (or lack, thereof) to Jesus Christ.
That's it. No insistence on any particular translation of the Bible. No particular statement about the end times. No dress code. No checklist of appearances or actions. No particular style of music. Those all have more to do with your personal relationship with Christ and the Holy Spirit living inside you. They are not required for entrance into my "club" ;)
My motto is paraphrased from one that is attributed to the Moravian church: In essentials, unity. In non-essentials, liberty. In everything, love. (They use the term "charity" in order to keep the flow of "-ty" endings, but I think the word "love" means so much more. "Charity", in our modern American culture, almost seems to be a look down the nose at someone "less" than ourselves.)
So, with that, let the fun begin. Perhaps we will learn something from each other. Perhaps I will find that I'm too far outside "the box" on some things. Or, maybe I'll help you to get outside whatever box you may be in. But above all, I pray that you will be encouraged in your relationship with Christ. If you don't have a personal relationship with Christ, I pray that something I say or express here may cause you to seek that for yourself. If I can be used in any way toward that end, I will be most humbled and grateful! To God be all the glory!
Oh, and if anyone is actually reading this, please drop me a note or respond to the posts and let me know!!
Until next time,