WALKING WITH JESUS MINISTRIES

 
 
TUESDAY TEACHINGS
 
 

 

RELATIONSHIP V THEOLOGY

A change in thinking in the church, particularly relating to leadership.

 

 

INTRODUCTION

The church has been based upon theology. Many denominations have been founded because they have had a theological difference to other denominations. Division has been rife in the body of Christ.

Today however, there is a 'new move', away from theology, back to the early New Testament period emphasis on a personal relationship with Jesus.

This is importantly reflected in the leadership function, where we are seeing a change developing from a professional, theological based leadership, to one based on God's calling.

 

 

 

BACKGROUND

CALL

CALL, CALLING

MINISTER

MINISTER

MINISTRY

 

The full background to this teaching is available online at this link
For Serious Students

 

 

Online links to scriptures (New International Version [NIV] unless otherwise stated) are shown in blue

 

RELATIONSHIP v THEOLOGY: REFORMERS IN THE CHURCH

 

This ezine is read by many within the traditional church structure as well as those outside of it. I seek to bring an understanding, if not agreement, as to why many are currently leaving the structured church.

The very heart of the movement for change in the church today is seen in the emphasis placed upon relationship with Jesus on the one hand, and the need for sound theology on the other.

Reality is, throughout history, change in the church has come from without, not within. Reformers used by God to bring change to the church such as Luther and the Wesleys, have desperately tried to work from within the system, but have all ultimately been rejected and forced to bring change from the outside, change which has gradually permeated back into the established church.

Why is this?

Picture: John Wesley

 

 

 

A revelation from God is received, initially through personal relationship with Jesus. It is then taken over, systematised and formalised by well meaning people into a theology which is taught and passed down to following generations. Revelation then, through conversion into theology, quickly becomes religion, a belief system we are taught and to which group members are expected to subscribe.

If this was all of the Holy Spirit, there would only be one theology, for there is only one Holy Spirit with one desire, to bring the church into unity of purpose in order that we might grow into the likeness of Christ.

 

 

Ephesians 4:12-13

 

 

Unfortunately, as each new grouping matures, the fresh truths that it brings to the body become entrenched into a theology that looks backwards to yesterday rather forward to the future. Change quickly turns into tradition.

Today, there is a growing understanding of this process amongst an ever increasing group of people who view their relationship with Jesus as more important than the theology of their church. These 'Jesus seekers' are generally regarded as rebels within the church system as they wont conform to the 'way things are done round here'.

 

 

 

There are two approaches that can be taken when we find ourselves in this position.

Our first, and natural reaction, is to try and change the system from within. If only we can get into leadership, then we will be able to make changes! Unfortunately, this doesn't work, for over the centuries, it has been proven that the system will always win. Ask Luther. Ask the Wesleys. Additionally, by being within the leadership, one is not only associated with the group's beliefs by others, both in the church and outside, but more significantly, are spiritually embraced under the particular covering of the church and movement with which the church is associated. Ultimately, the result will be compromise, embracing the theology of the group, while accepting the undoubted status and standing that goes along with church leadership.

 

 

 

The second and misunderstood alternative within the church, is to work from without. How my heart has cried out when reading the stories of the great reformers, seeing and understanding the heartbreak of rejection they went through when bending over backwards to appease the system they had been brought up in, had loved, and had had their friends in. Yet finally, their love for Jesus was greater. In the end they were either rejected and ejected, or with sadness, walked away for their inheritance of the past to the walk and work that Jesus now had for them to do.

 

 

 

The second and misunderstood alternative within the church, is to work from without. How my heart has cried out when reading the stories of the great reformers, seeing and understanding the heartbreak of rejection they went through when bending over backwards to appease the system they had been brought up in, had loved, and had had their friends in. Yet finally, their love for Jesus was greater. In the end they were either rejected and ejected, or with sadness, walked away for their inheritance of the past to the walk and work that Jesus now had for them to do.

Today, there is an increasing movement of Jesus followers leaving the formal church in order to seek out the path that Jesus has for them. Unlike earlier spiritual movements which have been centred in a particular place, this one is gathering momentum all round the world. These are uncertain times. Mistakes are made. Unless one is listening to and obeying the Holy Spirit absolutely, informality can lead to chaos and error. Yet, even with the potential pitfalls, there is a growing group of serious believers endeavouring to allow God to change their lives to become more like Jesus.

This has led to people focusing more upon the Gospels than the Epistles, which have been central in the past, and much beloved of theologians and Bible teachers. For the Gospels are about relationship with Jesus, about character, about becoming like Him, about moving into the community, about being beacons of light in an increasingly dark world.

 

 

 

Are we considered rebels by the established church? Yes. But Jesus too was a rebel in His time. The Rabbinical system, allied to the state and supporting the status quo, came in for greater criticism from Jesus than the worst of other sinners.

 

 

Matthew 23:8-12

 

 

In these turbulent times, let each one search in their heart what Jesus would have them do. 

 

NEXT WEEK:RELATIONSHIP V THEOLOGY - THE POWER OF THE CALL

 

Is ministry a profession or a calling?

 

 

A NOTE FROM DAVID

 

There is an air of change around the wider church today.

More and more people who love the church are torn in two when they try to suggest change to an unresponsive leadership.

Should they stay? Should they leave the organised church?

That is a question each one personally must ask God for a leading about.

JESUS: BACKGROUND
Historical Overview

Rome - Domestic Life


The family was a strong social unit in Roman civilization. In early centuries, the head of the family (paterfamilias) exercised total control over the whole family. Children were taught to respect the gods, their country, and their parents, in that order. By Julius Caesar's time, Roman women could own property and even influence politics. Girls and boys were educated, and some women received a higher education.

 

 

So until next week.......
MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOU BLESS GOD!

His servant and yours

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Previous parts of this Series (When applicable) are available to be read at:
www.wwj.org.nz/tuesday-teachings

 

 

 

A DAVID'S DOODLING

902. Religion breeds division, revelation, unity of Spirit.

David Tait         

 

 

 

Earlier Series of "Tuesday Teachings" can be read at:
www.wwj.org.nz/tuesday-teachings

 

 

Check out the WWJ website for….

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