If you’ve ever driven across this nation’s highways you know that at times roadmaps, GPS, and Road Signs, and actual roads seem to be at odds with one another. My proof for this? LA. ‘Nough said.
The same convoluted mess can often be found among the many theological/political roads the Church has followed over the last two millennia. Os Guinness puts it well in his book RENAISSANCE (2014).
“Whenever God has not given us clear and authoritative instructions as to how we are to conduct our lives, we are free to pursue our own solutions within the guidelines of the principles God has given us. But that means that our best solutions will always be a Christian way of doing things. They are not the Christian way.
“In light of God’s principles, we can say that certain ways of doing things that contradict those principles are not Christian, but we can never say that one way alone is. In that sense, there is no one ‘Christian economics,’ any more that there is one ‘Christian retirement plan,’ one ‘Christian political party,’ or one Christian anything… .
“This caution applies equally to our attitudes to cultures. Doubtless all Christians have their favorite periods of Christian history; which to them represent the golden age of faith. The Orthodox prize the age of the early Fathers. Catholics talk reverently of the medieval world and ‘the great age of faith.’ Protestants elevate the Reformation and its ‘recovery of the gospel and the Scriptures.’ Evangelicals take great pride and courage from the First Great Awakening and its potent combination of the preaching of the gospel and the spawning of myriad social reforms. And Pentecostals and charismatics hard back to the Azusa Street revival and its triggering one of the greatest and still continuing missionary advances in the history of the Christian church.
“Yet all these periods were at best more or less Christian, and today their flaws, their blind spots, their unintended consequences could be enumerated along with their undisputed blessings.” (122-123)
Navigating one’s faith journey along today’s spiritual and ecclesiastical highways is just as fraught with individualistic potholes and theological blind spots as in previous generations. Do not be so presumptuous as to assume my way is best.
Constantly return to the Scriptures in the context of fellow believers to learn afresh the principles God has given us live healthy lives before him. Let me leave you with this—a line from a song written by Hillsong United, sung by Taya Smith. “I touch the sky…, when my knees hit the ground.”
You have my prayers,