Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Diary of a LifeGroup Leader: The Battle for Staying Right in a Left-Leaning World

Humility versus Standing Firm.

For centuries possibly something more epic than what it is. Christianity, in my own observation through history and different perspective of denominations, have struggled to present what is outright right and where they stand. It varies from different doctrines from the bible to what you should wear during Sundays. And I found myself caught in the middle.

In a world right now, where relativity is the norm, It's hard to present what I believe is outright right and present what is outright wrong. I can't seem to get past the complex explanation as how the scholars have done it through their books and messages to how simple it should just be. This is where I find myself in between two contradicting essentials that believers should stand on. It's Orthodoxy and Context Simplicity. The struggle of being true, pure, right and staying that way while connecting to someone who doesn't know a single thing or have known a different kind of thing. It's my personal wrestling on Theology itself.

The Battle for staying right in a left-leaning world.

One thing you cannot deny, that in a world where us being gods is the norm, the knowledge about Jesus is all and left as an opinion. Faith is nothing more but belief in self, and everything that tackles about spirituality and religion is left to primitive minds. We find ourselves without need for a savior, for a certain reason that the knowledge of why we need to be saved is lost. We are no longer sinners seeking for forgiveness towards an offended God but broken people who reaches out to be repaired to feel better about themselves.

And just to confess to everyone, during my young journey being a Life Group leader, this has been one of the things that I found most difficult to tackle and push forward. Presenting certain cemented doctrines in the Christian faith and presenting it calmly and hoping that no one asks questions and just take it in. It didn't go and pan out the way I hoped it would be and serious questions regarding good works, inerrancy of Scripture and the exclusivity of salvation through Jesus Christ alone was really questioned.

They're all valid questions and as much as I want to really be sensitive about it, I stood firm with these laid out doctrines and explained how they are held truths and regarded as fundamentals. I know, and I believe that all was right, where I was wrong... was probably my insensitivity to the fragility of the topic.

Romans 14:16 "So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil." (ESV)

Although I was trying to lay groundwork on the beliefs of the young people that was with me, maybe in a manner of how I lead it, I didn't attain what I wanted to attain, and most probably repelled some even more.

Now I'm overtaken with feelings of regret, demise and frustration for the few that went home empty handed, offended and probably confused. The very thing I fear the most while trying to tackle this very topic happened, and I can't deny my hand on the situation.

Why is it a struggle?

Theology, Doctrine and Orthodoxy is something I really find very essential in a journey of one believer of Christ. More than the eternal pleasures and joy that one feels in being with Christ, one has to know what we know about Jesus is correct. Right now, as culture has changed, everyone's opinion and perspective about who Jesus is has also changed. Not only has He, in most, reduced to become a moral example, He's no longer revered as God. This is I guess what Paul was talking about in Romans 1:21. For although we know God, we don't regard Him as one, and in turn we became futile in our thinking and our hearts are darkened.

Truth? I think so.
Harsh? In my opinion, an unfortunate yes..

These are the truths that we hold dear as a believer of Christ. And also, these are the things that are really being taken for granted since these are the ones that really repel those who don't know Christ. One of the popular questions that I have encountered lately is about the other people outside of Christianity, where's salvation for them? Will they go to heaven?

To answer that in black and white, there is no heaven for those who do not believe in Jesus Christ as their savior. The Bible is very direct about this and true, it does sound very exclusive, but only through His sacrifice on the cross that we're saved from the penalty of sin. He acted as a propitiation for us and this is why only through Him are we saved.

We can always take that direction and answer that question that way, as I've had, and watch people raise eyebrows and add more questions as they place in their heads that you probably don't know what you're talking about. From there question about the validity of the Scriptures as people having written it will arise and from there, I have no idea where to go anymore. I can always quote scripture like 2 Tim 3:16 that says all scripture is God breathed, or the Deut verse that says the very same thing, but as for my experience, no convincing can ever convince a person who has reason above it all.

This is why I've been wanting to read Mark Driscolls book, Radical Reformission. The tagline of the book says it all. Reaching out without Selling out. Selling out is one of the worries that I always deal with when going about these topics. I have caught myself seeking through scripture to prove a point rather than to find Jesus. The Bible does say that knowledge puffs up and by that you will and will lose sensitivity over what you know. There will be a disconnect with knowledge and relationship. Theology will then lose its practicality and turn into a dangerous you gotta know this to get this kind of thing. I've fallen into it, and it's either being that or totally scrapping everything that rubs people off and sell out.

So do we go about the battle or struggle of staying right in a left leaning world? I can only think about Romans 14:19 that we always pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upholding. That we should always be gentle as Paul instructed Timothy to be. We should always be trusting in the Lord more than our understanding as Proverbs 3:5 said. Just knowing that believing in Jesus comes from God (John 6:29) and that we hold what which beheld us firstly amongst anything else (1 Cor 15:3), I guess things should be well.

I find hope that the Lord does good for what was evil that came from us. I know and trust that the Lord will always put together things as they should be for those who love him (Rom 8:28). There's nothing to fear.

I urge everyone to really find the essentiality of knowing Jesus through scripture for it is the only standard that which should be held high when we talk about Him. There's nothing else that gives truthful account for Gods work in this earth than the Holy Bible itself.

I guess, I'd leave this all hanging at first for I myself find myself struggle upon my heart as of late. We'll see as to how we will go through my Grounded series with my Life Group. I took a break from sharing as my friend will discuss about What the Gospel is next week. I just finished mine with It's not about us. Another good friend of mine will share something about The Importance of Theology and I'll be wrapping the series up with Humble Orthodoxy.

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