I just like the picture is all 🙂
I think this is the structure of my doctrinal statement, my personal one. I will try work through this over the next few months. It is something I need to do for myself, ready always to explain what I believe and why. So….
- Vision Statement
- Mission Statement
- How and why of both
- The Bible
- The Father
- The Son
- The Holy Spirit
- The Church
- Spiritual Gifts
- People ( Humanity)
- Eternal Security
- End Times
- Leadership Model for the Church
- Priesthood of Believers
Well maybe more than a few months and maybe not in this order , but it is where I will start….so….on to my vision statement…..hmmm
It has been years in the making and I think it is finally time for me to start that book I have been threating to write for years. I was inspired to get it going for a few reasons, mainly, I am not getting any younger.
I found myself answering questions about what I believe and why I believe it and not having an easy coherent way to pass that information along. We will be looking at out bylaws and incorporation papers at ALCC next year and in the course of preparing for that, I found I need to have documented my “doctrinal statement” nailed down. I was wondering how my pastor buddies answer questions about their doctrine, do they have it in writing, do they have it set in stone…I don’t think I do….
I am going to set it out in my blog and once done put it in book form as a systematic theology book. I am well aware that this has been done by guys much smarter than me but I need to do this. I found (truth be told pastors) I know you do this too…. when I am asked a theological question I try to figure out where the questioner is coming from, what answer are they looking for>.I think it might come from my doubts about my own theology, i don’t know.
So, this exercise is more about my needs to nail down what I believe and why, is my doctrine sound, am I an Armenian, a Calvinist or a hybrid . Does anyone other than me care about hypo-static union, transubstantiation, baptismal regeneration…I don’t know but for me, I need to nail down my doctrinal statement before I can hope to lead a church in defining theirs.
So, to those of you that read my blog, if you have any ideas on just how best lay this out, please let me know. I want to do it on the blog but I think I want to do it in a Wiki kind of format. Your input is appreciated. I was going to just start a book in a Word document but I think I like the feed back as I go along, any ideas….let me know.
If you ( Christian ) think doctrine or a systematic theology is something you do not have need of or engage in, think again, you have a doctrine but you just don’t know what to call it. You have the question” was it really needed to have Christ die for your sins” you might hear of or ask that question , that is the doctrine of the Atonement, you may not know it, but that is what it is. Within that you have
- The cause of the Atonement
- The need of an Atonement
- The nature of the Atonement
- Reasons for the Atonement
- We deserve to die as a penalty for sin
- We deserve to bear God’s wrath against sin
- We are separated from God by our sins
- We are in bondage to sin
Then you have Sacrifice, Propitiation, Reconciliation, Redemption….all that just from the question, did Christ have to die for my sins…
So, I am going to get this on paper, for me. You can read along if you want to but it really is for me.
I am thinking about prayer this afternoon, the power of it and the thought that we can stand before the Creator of ex nihilo. In Genesis 1:1 we are told God created the heavens and the earth, that is everything from nothing, for His glory. ( Isa 43:7 ) When I think about this fallen world and how it must just pain Him to see where it is today.
God created it good and wants us to use it in ways pleasing to Him. Anyway, what got me thinking about creation and prayer was how does it play out in the context of a sovereign God. He created it all, He made it all, He is Lord of it all. We owe all that we are and have to Him, from the macro of the mighty vastness of the universe to the micro sub-atomic, He is in control of it all, we can rest in the fact that He knows where we are in all of this thing we call life.
As a pastor, shepherd of His flock ( 1 Peter 5:2 ) I take the roll with great fear and trembling for the awesome responsibility I have to shepherd the flock that He has put in my charge. One of the things that I as a pastor am responsible for is to pray for the people in the church, I get asked all the time to please keep such and such lifted up in prayer, and sometimes I secretly wonder….why me, why do I have to take the weight of that on my plate, why do I have to promise to set time aside to remember to pray for you…..and then I go back to 1 Peter 5:2-5 and see I have a charge to tend to the flock of God, not by constraint but willingly.
That’s the key, HIS flock. I need to remember it is His and I am just tending to His people, and it is with great joy that I get to do that. Prayer for one another is a powerful way in which the Holy Spirit uses it to bring blessing to each of us, the one praying and the one being prayed for ! It is a joint venture that both parties will grow in their faith and walk with Christ.
We are told to pray as a group for one another, Acts 4:24-30 and when peter was in prison, Acts 12:5 tells us “earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church. Prayer involves fellowship with the Holy Spirit, In Hebrews 4:16 we get to “draw near” to God in prayer before the very throne of grace !! and we do so “ that we may receive mercy and find grace in time of need”
Wow, as we just wrapped up twenty months going through the book of Acts as a church, we have seen over and over the awesome power of prayer in the early church. As we grow in fellowship at ALCC the more the need to keep prayer in the forefront of where we are moving.
So it is in that context that I count it all joy to be allowed to lift others up in the act of worshipful prayer so I can see them drawing near to God, entering into His presence and giving Him the praises He deserves !! I think it is a primary means of grace that is only available to the church and through which God can bring blessings individually and corporately to all of us…….
So, please keep me in the loop on your prayers, fill out the cards in the bulletin, email Jeff and I , we count it all joy !!! really…..
Somewhere on the road ………