Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Under Construction

I love church websites. They tell you so much about the real character of the congregation without even meaning to. The church I grew up at recently launched their own website, so naturally I took a look.

Like most churches, they have a "What We Believe" page where they lay out their theology in brief. I clicked over to this page only to find the words "Under Construction". I know that the phrase "under construction" is only there to say that the site is not fully finished, but they may have stumbled onto something without knowing it.

Most churches have a "What We Believe" manifesto of some sort. It usually includes what they believe about the Bible, who Jesus was and is, the exact meaning of salvation, and other doctrines they hold to. These statements of faith are like the blueprints to their house. Everything has already been put together, and all we have to do is follow the blueprints and everything will come together nicely.

This works fine if you're building an actual house. In fact, you'd be dumb not to have a blueprint before undertaking such a project. But constructing our faith is somewhat different. Unlike a regular architect, God does not choose to give us the blueprints up front and let us go at it. After the blueprints are completed, the architect's job is done and the foreman (foreperson?) takes over. God wants the project of our faith to be a relational process, so God chooses to reveal the plans little by little. Sometimes we find out we've worked too far ahead, and when God shows us a new portion of the plans we have to reconstruct something we've already built.

If we believe that the Christian faith is a living tradition, if we believe that God is still speaking to us, then we have to be open to the possibility that God will give us a new understanding that will make us rethink our previous understandings. We never know what God will do next.

So if we're really honest with ourselves, everyone's faith is still being constructed. God is always showing us a new portion of the blueprint and working right beside us to make it all come together. All we can do is trust that the architect knows what He's doing and that the house will stand when it's all said and done.

"What we believe" is under construction. We've got to build this thing together and rely on the architect to show us the way. So come pick up a hammer and let's get to work together. Working together is the only way we're going to make this thing happen.


Heretical Swan said...

The response that will seem obvious to many readers (and thus, I will ask it hypothetically before letting one of those bibliolators slander you) is, "Gawd did give us a blueprint for faith and life, it's cawled the Bye-bul!" What will you say, Rev. Kelley, to those who claim all the christology and soteriology one could ever put on a What We Believe page is laid out clearly in scripture?

Anonymous said...

What is the web address for Christ UMC? I can't find it by googling!

Tracy said...

hahahahah, I wonder who "heretical swan" could possibly be??? ;o)