I wrote this for my church’s newsletter and I thought I would share it on here as well. I will be posting this series as they come out. How do you respond to people when they ask you “what does your church believe?”
As a minister I am often asked “what does your church believe”? I try to explain to them that within the walls of our church (and more than likely theirs as well) we can have a wide range of beliefs on most issues. Generally this is a bit puzzling for them. The follow up question is usually “doesn’t that cause problems within the church?” I usually smile and say “all the time, but that’s OK with me.” I truly believe what I said. Conversations about our faith and the questions that arise are vitally important. People today are seeking answers to life’s biggest questions. For many years people turned to the church to help ‘sort out’ their inquires but sometimes the answers they received were not good enough. Today, for the most part, people do not want to be told want to think or what to believe. They want to experience it for themselves and have a place to discern and evaluate their experiences. This is where the church comes in. The church needs to be a place of openness, a place where the questions are asked and the discussions are held.
As members of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) we pride ourselves on being open and accepting of other belief systems and interpretations. We want to have discussions about faith and practical matters. That is why our founders believed in the motto “No creed but Christ.” We are called to live out our faith in a way that is in accord to teachings of Jesus Christ. If we are able to believe and affirm that Jesus Christ is the son of the Living God and offers saving grace to all of God’s children, everything else is just secondary.
I have heard it said that Disciples of Christ churches are the ‘best kept secret’ or ‘if people just knew what we stood for, they wouldn’t want to go anywhere else.’ Well for the next five weeks I am going to be discussing the some of the theological beliefs and practices associated with the Disciples. This will be by no means an exhaustive account but it should give you a good foundation to build from.
We are never too old to learn, grow, change, think, rethink and think again about the issues of faith. Our faith is never stagnate. I hope that this series will be one that is informative as well as challenging.