Saturday, March 01, 2014

Values of the Church 5: Scripture

Obligatory "it's been awhile" noted - for those involved in the series, my apologies. Life, etc. We'll see what I can come up with as far as more time is concerned. I really don't like having a year plus go between posts :)
So last time we gained ground toward the end of this series on the church, specifically the mega-church phenomenon. We've covered a number of values & ideas that I think are pertinent in answering the question of "are mega-churches okay?" Going back a few years, at the start of this, I was interested in looking at (what was then) significant criticism of the mega-chuches of the U.S. This has morphed a bit into a series which can also apply to other churches & church models. That's one of the advantages of letting things stew for a long time between posts :) The values we've looked at to date: love, unity, freedom, selflessness. Now I'd like to list the final value I think most pertinent: scripture. This is the first value outside ourselves. Love, freedom, selflessness, unity - these all come from within us. We choose to love, we pick unity, we seek freedom, we practice selflessness. Scripture comes from outside us. But it is crucial to evaluating a church or church model. Why? Because scripture is where we find the origin of the church. It is where Jesus tells Peter that Peter would be the one on whom He'd build His church. It is where the early church is described in Acts, where leadership instruction is provided via the Pastoral Epistles. It is where we find Jesus' words to seven churches. Scripture is the word of God by which we get our ideas about what church ought to be. It is therefore the standard by which churches should be evaluated. And it is the lens through which we view the first four filters too. So the five values I'm using to evaluate the "mega-church" model are in place. Next up? The review. Then hopefully on to new material :) God bless, Ron