Thursday, February 16, 2012

reEngage the Faith!

reEngage the Faith!

a biblical study of confessional essentials


As recently stated in the foreword to a document issued by The Fellowship of Presbyterians, it is worthwhile and timely for us "to identify the statements of our confessional heritage that connect us with the one holy catholic apostolic church and express our distinctively Reformed convictions within that church."


In the Presbyterian Church, we provide new members, confirmation classes and officers of the church who have been elected to serve in leadership a number of resources toward deepening our life in faith lived together in community for the glory of God. One of these is the Book of Confessions which, as stated in the ordination vows for both teaching and ruling Elders as well as Deacons in the PCUSA, promotes "the essential tenets of the Reformed faith as expressed in the confessions of our church as authentic and reliable expositions of what Scripture leads us to believe and do." Leaders vow to "be instructed and led by those confessions as [we] lead the people of God." With Jesus Christ as Lord, church leaders vow to serve together "in obedience to Jesus Christ under the authority of Scripture and continually guided by our confessions."


While the above is true, we have room for improvement in increasing one another's biblical and theological literacy in the church. As expressed by the task force on theology for The Fellowship of Presbyterians:


Casual affirmation of our theological heritage by our generation has severely weakened our worship and witness. We are squandering the gifts our confessional heritage could give us. We confess we have not been good stewards of the Faith. We must now reengage the Faith of the Church in ways that are more deeply committed to its truth and thus its value in ordering our life toward faithfulness.


Beloved, we are in need of re-formation! I wonder how many of us have really mined the depths and/or recently re-examined the jewels of the Christian faith to be found and rediscovered in the Presbyterian and reformed stream of Christianity. How much have we truly treasured the gifts of God given for us in the reformed tradition to uniquely share with our fellow sisters and brothers in Christ in order to bless the world which God so loves?


Contrary to the notion that affirming the uniqueness of our particular expression of Christianity is not as important as promoting our unity and oneness in the Spirit of Christ, we may actually be doing the world and ourselves a disservice by hiding that aspect of our light under a bushel! If in our diversity we are all created in the image of God, then by downplaying our distinctiveness we could be robbing one another of the opportunity to more fully display the richness of the deeply broad heritage and desirably divine beauty of the body of Christ. The Fellowship Theology Taskforce goes on to say:


We reject the proposition that theology divides. Instead, we affirm the proposition that truth tends toward unity.

This depth may be challenging for some. We acknowledge this and we encourage you to read more than once, and to read together with others. This is a teaching moment. Let us use this to deepen our knowledge of the Reformed Faith.


In this season of Lent, let us together approach with confidence the confessions of our faith anew with reverence and awe for the glory of God in Christ! Join one another in Christian Living at Sunday School this winter into spring! See you in C.L.A.S.S.

Pastor Rex