Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Is it OK that I believe...?

It is my observation that every group of people/community have either written or unwritten beliefs that are acceptable to the group.

I have been part of a group where it was acceptable to be unfaithful to your girlfriend but very much unacceptable to be unfaithful with someone else's girlfriend.

I have been in a group where it was acceptable to use illegal drug X but not to use illegal drug Y.

There are always lines.

I'm not commenting on the value or merit of these lines. I'm just saying that I think they always exist.

If you cross certain lines you will not be able to keep playing.

In the Church there are lines. Historically many lines have been drawn. You can trace these lines through creeds and statements of faith which I guess tell some of the story.

Sometimes lines are repainted, removed or you move.

Recently I was in two forums where senior leaders were talking about issues where the lines were previously drawn but do not appear so clear anymore.

The inward surge of questions I experienced surprised me.

What do others think of me?
Am I outside the line?
Are they outside the line?
Are these lines good?
Are these lines bad?
Are we still playing together?
Can I explain myself?
Do you understand me?

It made me reflect how I lead my Church and the environment we are creating.

What lines do we have?
Are they good?
Do we need more?
Do we need less? 

But more importantly for me at this moment of time...

How do I explain what I believe?
How do I give people who are interested/want to join my church time to think about what I am saying?
How do I take time to listen, learn understand and respect those who have different views to me?

1 comment:

  1. Jaynee Callard4 June 2013 at 14:00

    I think that the concept of lines is an interesting one but the question that most springs to mind for me is 'Do these lines exclude people?'. This is particularly pertinent in reference to church where extending the kingdom of heaven is a primary purpose. Difficult if we rule out individuals or groups before we even start.

    Perhaps it goes back to what you were talking about on Sunday and the potential argument that by being on a different side of a line creates division... Not a straightforward concept to explore.