I could only yell "Hallelujah" at Michael Shaw's article. I've been there done it and bought the t-shirt and my faith is stronger than ever. But it is not blind faith that accepts everything I'm told or read.
I was brought up in an evangelical church, did short term missionary work, went to Bible college, onto the mission field full time and then my faith crashed because if the way we were treated by so-called Christians who preached love but did anything but show it. I came home with my evangelical faith gone: except one thread - God is. Somehow, that thread was super strong.
It's a long story of healing, living, connecting with people I had been told were "non-grata" and reading, studying and looking at the context of the Bible and to-day's world. Being a woman, I could not accept that the God who gave us brains and talents would then say that we couldn't use them. That was perverse and these rules were made by men, not women. So my faith grew again, from the ground up. It was questioning but that isn't the same as doubting God.
Yes, Steve Chalke was an influence, but I was already on that road when I read and heard what he was saying. So here's to analysing what we believe and why. Here's to looking at the Bible not as a rule book but as God's history with humankind and the excitement of what it meant to those it was written for and now extrapolating what it means for us today, in a totally different society and with a far more advanced knowledge base.
So, don't be afraid to question and even reject some stuff you grew up up. Even Jesus thought outside the box of his religious upbringing. God is bigger than us. Jesus has more love than we can ever have. And if we let the Holy Spirit really indwell us and guide us, then Christianity will be fit for the future and not a relic of the past.
Deconstructing the Christian faith sounds more like 'destructing the Christian faith' to me. Sure, I've been a Christian now for fifty years and might be labelled by some as an anachronism. But we neglect the'old paths' at our peril. Over the last twenty years we have witnessed a dismantling of traditional beliefs such as subtitutionary atonement, biblical marriage between a man and a woman, gender etc.
Now one of the leaders of this post-modern, emergent church ideology, namely Steve Chalke has supposedly not only discovered a 'Lost message of Jesus' but now boldly presents us with a 'Lost message of the apostle Paul'! We are told that what Paul actually taught was Universalism and that personal faith in Christ will not save you! We follow the Steve Chalke's, the Brian McClaren's and Rob Bell's and all of those like them at our peril. These false prophets, for that is what I believe they are, are always about preaching 'some new thing' and are leading the church astray with their man centred, culture driven, false teachings. What ever happened to 'earnestly contending for the faith that was once delivered to the saints'.
Is there anyone out there who is as perplexed as I am at the condition of the modern church? Baptists wake up!
I have just started to read Judges starting with the story of Gideon which was the basis for our Sunday sermon. I kept reading and haven't got to Ch. 19 yet. However I was begining to find it quite difficult to read so far it has not been a happy tale. I then happened upon this article on Judges Chapter 19 and found it so helpful .I was going to abandon the rest of Judges but now will read it with renewed understanding. Why did I come across this particular article at this time ? I do believe God guides us even when we don't always ask for it.