Archive for November, 2012

08
Nov
12

Core Values… Spiritual Balance = Holding truths in tension

Heresy…

This has been on my heart for the last while…The almost complete lack of DISCERNMENT…

1 Timothy 4:1
“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;”

Doctrines of devils is the easy part. I am concerned about the “seducing spirits.” It’s the little foxes spoil the vines.

Avoiding HERESY…

Are we becoming a nation of heretics? A friend of mine was once concerned about Christians who had become excessively interested in a specific doctrine or cause remarked, “It is something but it isn’t everything.” This could be said of tongues, prophesy, head covering, high-Sovereignty, free-will, healing, gold dust, gold teeth or just gold period (prosperity), gifts, demons, ┬ádominionism, zionism, eschatologyand the list could on and on. Similarly, George Sweeting once said, “The main thing is to keep the main thing, the main thing.” Of course, the off balance Christian will be convinced that something entirely stupid is one of the MAIN things.THEY SAID: “We are tired of this lothesome manna. Give us flesh to eat!”
GOD SAID: “Am I not enough? You shall have flesh. You shall have quail until it comes out of your nostrils!”Heresy is often simply taking a truth too far and losing balance in the process. This is particularly true in Europe where someone will stumble on to something on the internet (usually it is something American) and suddenly they are proselytizing others to some esoteric view of scripture that is held by almost no one else except this teachers “Greater Truth or Experience” group. The TRUTH is not held by any group or denomination but by the whole church everywhere and it is in the balance this provides that has kept the church steady throughout the ages. My advice? Read and listen broadly. Sometimes bondage masquerades as liberty – legalism as grace.I didn’t write this statement on balance but I wish I had. I took it from Christian Associates of Thousand Oaks, California. I doubt if it is said better. I think this statement presents some of these tensions in a most sensible way.

Kingdom focused

We believe that the Kingdom is both now and not yet. We believe that God can and does work in supernatural ways in our lives and in our world. Our goal is to build the kingdom of God, not personal or corporate empires. We believe that the church is God’s agent for extending His kingdom.

Biblically based and worshipful

We believe in the authority of scripture. Our approach to the Bible prioritizes transformation over information – we seek to apply God’s Word to real life situations. We value experience of God in worship, both individually and in community.

Grace oriented

We believe in the power of God’s grace to transform lives, and reject attempts to legislate the Christian life through human rules, especially in gray areas. We embrace diversity, respecting differences of believe in non-essentials. We deal with issues redemptively rather than judicially. We aim at righteousness and emphasize values and principles, avoiding legalism and rule setting.

A dynamic view of the Holy Spirit

We position ourselves between the Pentecostal and anti-Charismatic poles of “everybody has to,” and “nobody can.” We seek to avoid a theology of excess and a theology of reaction. We hold an evangelical view of the baptism (infilling) of the Holy Spirit. We seek the Holy Spirit’s empowering without dictating how that should occur.

Purpose centered and people minded

We are a mission movement with a specific purpose and vision, yet we want to move in a way that values people and relationships. While serious about accomplishing our tasks, we’re willing to laugh at ourselves, maintaining a light-hearted element to our relationships and gatherings. We are committed to healthy families and value children, the poor and the vulnerable in our midst.

Developmental and gift based

We believe that each person is a unique contribution to the kingdom of God, and it is our desire to see our people resources develop their God-given potential. We emphasize lifelong development for leaders, encouraging giftedness discovery, decentralized ministry, inclusion of women in leadership, and discovery and fulfillment of life purpose.

Facilitative in leadership

We have a clear mission mandate, vision, philosophy and strategy, yet we are adaptable in how these things are worked out, realizing that there are many cultural and personal variables. We are flexible but focused, seeking to empower our affiliates to fulfill their calling. We are committed to a team approach to ministry.

Entrepreneurial

We recognize that evangelism and church planting requires intuition and gifting; it is both an art and a science. We strive to do things well, but are willing to be innovative and take calculated risks. We step out in faith, trusting God to provide in supernatural ways.

Balancing the strategic and the supernatural

We see both spirituality and practicality. We believe that people’s problems could be both demonically inflicted or psychologically induced or a combination of the two. We believe in prayer meetings and planning meetings. We want to be spiritual without over-spiritualizing.

Authentic and Transparent

We value “realness” over performance. We seek to be humble, vulnerable, approachable, open, and teachable.

This statement is extracted from Christian Associates International of Thousand Oaks, California.www.christianassociates.org

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