Our launch team really is gelling and digging deep in training for our church launch. We've been on a journey for almost 2 months; deconstructing and slowly rebuilding a new understanding of the Christian life and God's purpose for humanity. This intensive time is intended to form our churches ethos and spiritual DNA. I thought I'd give you a little summary of our Axiom study and conversation from this week.
Abraham through Israel is called to be God’s answer to the problem of Adam, a new beginning in the world. Israel was chosen to partner with God in the renewing of the world. But Israel repeatedly gets off track. One of the ways in which Israel has failed to live up to the calling to be a renewed humanity is her pride, wanting to see herself as top dog among the nations rather than God’s means of blessing all of them. The same level of national pride means that Israel uses the Law as a badge to keep themselves apart and different, and seek to claim its blessing for themselves rather than to share them. Israel thought God's election gave them special status rather it was intended to give them a special task in the world.
The church is now God’s expanded answer for the renewal of the world. Jesus has birthed a new partner (the church) that is to bring about God’s hope, peace and justice in the world. But we have the same temptation and distraction… status. We too forget that our election is for the role of blessing. We too want to compare ourselves with the immoral lives of those not in the church. We too seek to claim God’s blessing for ourselves instead of sharing them. And so therefore we ruin the nature of election.
God's people have a tendency to falter in our missional task in this world. We are called to salt the world but instead we often surround ourselves with mirrors, heightening our own sense of purity and exclusiveness while insisting that the world around us is evil and lives in darkness.
Here are some great quotes that came from our launch community during the discussion this past Sunday:
"Election is 90% about the purpose and 10% about the mechanics"
"The danger in being enamored with your own election is that it constipates movement out"
"The pursuit of partnership with God brings holiness - but the pursuit of holiness doesn't necessarily bring partnership with God"
"The Gospel is more than a statement it is first a form and a mode"
"Fear, my own needs, and sometimes my own pursuit of holiness clogs up the pipeline of blessing from me to the world around me"
"It's easy to think that the renewal of this broken world is not my job"
Good stuff team