We have been studying the Apostle's Creed at Wednesday night Bible Study. It has been fun looking at the origin of this confession of the fundamental things we must believe. This was important for a church that had so many heretical beliefs. You know what I am talking about. People expressing elitist theology that they have "special" knowledge about God. To know that truth you must join them and be "awakened" (Gnostics). Others worshipped legalistic beliefs that said if you complied with the rules, you could be part of their sect (Judaizers). Still others tried to say that the Old Testament God (Jehovah) wasn't the same as the New Testament God (the Father who sent Jesus) and that Jesus wasn't born, real (they thought He was Spirit) and that there was no judgment (Marcionism). If you really ponder these three factions you might also say, "Wait preacher ... I see those ideas in political and religious extremes today!" You would be right!
A woman wrote a letter to a bishop of the denomination. It was a letter about looking to Scripture for God's plan and truth, rather than looking to the world for that truth. The woman was soundly chastised. How dare she question the fallibility of a bishop! How dare she question the decisions of one so learned and informed! These are the people in high leadership in many of our denominations. Elitist, gnostic, humanistic or just plain narcissistic, this bishop had become a modern-day purveyor of heretical ideas. And this is why we, as the local Church, must continue to teach and preach from God's Word, rather than man's opinion.
So ... I will spend the summer on several of the foundations of our beliefs. I will call the series PURPOSE! What is God's purpose in the world? What does Scripture say about that purpose? We will start with a purpose passage all of us should know ... John 3:16 (and associated verses) ... "For God so loved the world, he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life." Simple, beautiful truth. Life-giving truth. Truth for everyone (in the south, 'all you'uns').
I think this will be fun, informative, foundational and, in the context of a turned-around world, centering. Let's jump into this summer study of God's Purpose together! Thanks! Randy