The concept of change and progress is one of the most fundamental aspects of what it means to be human. We cannot live life if we have no sense of progress or movement forward. Just as fundamental it is to us personally, it is also key in our relationships. Just as we seek progress in our own lives we seek to spread it into the lives of the people around us. There is very little that is more rewarding and enriching than to be able to live a life that is exerting positive influence and change into the lives that we touch.
This week, an article addressing issues and concerns over the condition of the Russian-American church made a big splash on the social media world. Within a few hours, the article got over a thousand hits and dozens of comments. What started out as one young woman sharing her personal concerns for her culture and church quickly became an explosion of strong feelings, opinions and disagreements. Apparently there are many many young people who feel very strongly about challenges within our denomination. Surprised? Not really…
One of the most powerful lessons of 2014 for me has to do with growing in my understanding of what it really means to love others.
When one looks at the biblical narrative, its quite amazing to see how God accomplishes change in the lives of those he desires to reach. He is not what we expect him to be. He does not merely snap his fingers, and presto! All that God does in his work with this fallen world, he does within the framework of a relationship; a process of reaching out and personally touching the hearts of those he seeks to change.
It continues to amaze me how all of christianity is built on one simple message. One simple message that influences every single aspect of our life. One simple message that is studied and preached hundreds and hundreds of times in a person’s life. And it never really seems to get old!… or does it?
This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend Reality Conference down in Vancouver Washington, which was geared to direct the minds of young people back to the significance of the foundational christian message which they claim to believe. As I sat and observed the message being preached, the people and all that was there I was struck by this simple fact: how is it that all we do, in biblical christianity, is hear, think, and apply the same message over and over again?