Let me be as transparent as I can. I hold to what would be considered a conservative, evangelical theology. I believe in God, a triunity, creator, holy, ever-present, all knowing, all powerful and redeemer.
I believe that scripture is from God, fully inspired and without mistake. I believe that all people are sinful, we have broken God’s law and continue to do so as long as we are in this present life. Consequently, we are separated from God, who is holy. By his nature, God cannot have fellowship with us sinners in our natural state. It’s as though God is allergic to sin and those who practice it.
I believe God himself solved this relationship issue in the person of God the son, who became man, lived a perfect life and died on the cross, taking the punishment we deserve. By faith in Christ we come into a relationship with God, becoming his children. Christ could represent God and us. He became fully human and is God. He choose to take our punishment so we could be related to him.
I could go on with my beliefs, which are shared with many. I could share my preferences about how to do church. And some of those preferences have changed over the decades, but these preferences are not important.
I good number of denominations have allowed their biblical beliefs to evaporate. Some of their leaders have abandoned them. But some of the people in the pew didn’t consider them important. Instead, in some congregations, people have fought over issues that are not addressed by the Bible. For example, the color of carpeting or a decision that changed the appearance of a facility. I remember as pastor at one church trying to add a handicap ramp. The proposal was strongly opposed by some older members who may have needed it for entry into the building at some point in the near future.
I’m not serving a church vocationally at this time. I’m a church member. I enjoy it when the congregation does stuff that suits me. As an older adult (I’ve avoiding the word “senior”) I enjoyed a valentine’s dinner for my age group. I felt a bit pampered–and it felt good.
But I do hope that it encourages all of us to be more faithful to Jesus, to witness, to disciple, to worship, to pray…I could go on.
Let’s stand up for what’s really important. Living for and serving Christ, not just meeting our own needs.
Ashton C. Smith, Certified Church Consultant