Experimental Methods, Stable Laws

8 12 2005

Experimental Methods, Stable Laws

Scripture:
1 Timothy 1:8 (NIV)  8We know that the law is good if one uses it properly.

1 Timothy 2:8 (NIV)  8I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing.

1 Timothy 4:8,15 (NIV)  8For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.

15Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. 16Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.

Observations:
A lot of people quote Paul’s views on grace and love, but few seem to understand his views on the Law.  Hence, and interesting dichotomy develops in their theology.  Although in many places Paul is quite adamant about keeping the law, so many say that that is nonsense and heretical.  But here, Paul clearly states that the law is good.

Indeed, in the next chapter he says that he wants men to lift up holy hands without disputes.  And he goes on to say in chapter 4 that we should be training for godliness – once again affirming the law.

The last text I quoted above is clearly for me – to be diligent and to let others see the progress being made in me.  To persevere in order to save myself and others.

Application:
Common Ground is an experimental church.  We are a hybrid of a lot of things that work.  As we move through this process of starting a church from scratch, we have tried many things with and without success.  It is great when we achieve success, but it is difficult when we fail.  We don’t dwell on the failures, but we press on in order to try something new.

We have some key fundamentals that are non-negotiable, but our methods and other activities are subject to constant change.

Once again I am embroiled in a controversy with some members.  They are good people and it hurts to see the hurt in them.  But it occurred to me this morning that I am quick to make changes and to abandon things that don’t work.  I am an INTJ.  I’m an experimenter, a change agent, an architect, and a designer.  Most people in my church are SJs – or guardians.  In fact, most people who attend church are guardians.  These people seek security and stability.  They appreciate rules and want things to remain basically the same.  Put these two together and you are playing with fire.

I believe I need to do better in warning the SJs of our church that we are experimental and constantly changing.
The Law is good and will not be abandoned, but we haven’t figured everything out and we are under constant change in our methodology.

Indeed, God has convicted me to persevere and let people see my growth.

Prayer:
Dear God, help me to be a better communicator.  Teach me to reach out to people better and seek to understand them, before they themselves are having doubts, frustrations, and concerns.  Teach me how to better meet people where they are.

Guide me Lord, work with me, mold me, fashion me, and let me better reflect your character.

Thanks for your strength and courage.

I love you too Lord!

gw

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