Some heart-felt perceptive thoughts from Andrew
People do things resulting in one questioning one's Faith and giving rise to many questions. Brian’s recent sermon (here, 6th May) raised a few questions of my own based on a current episode in life, and from thinking back on past enduring memories too.
Brian refers to 1 John vs3; obeying the Father as Children, Men and Veterans.
Focusing on the Man (woman) part: from a person’s formative early adulthood, starting out in life and preparing a career path from eighteen years of age through to sixty years old, through to completing careers and a move into the veteran, grandparent retirement stage, people are exposed for over 40 years to constant influences.
Is all this influence deciding how or if we keep our Faith?
In our modern world, with it's just-in-time delivery, instant communication, faster modes of transit, and even the way we view human rights, the list goes on on and on to make things quicker and easier. It all leads to new ways of doing things, new ways we think and interpret for ourselves. One pertinent example of those things which have definitely changed is how, or even if we still have time to believe in an ancient word and teachings found in the Bible. I’m sure a lot of modern people deviate from normal worship as their Faith is tested daily with increased technology coupled with a modern society, all pushing a belief totally differently to how society believed 50 or 100 years ago.
The "Assurances" Brian spoke of (here) that come from keeping a close and meaningful relationship with God, now days seem to be receding with more and more people following or claiming a superior way of how and what they believe in, and how they go about their daily lives. It seems people find it increasingly difficult to see how following the Word and Way of Christ will benefit, help, guide and console them in a modern society.
The world for most people turns upside down from time to time. People feel persecuted regularly. How about the time when you received a fine and feel like a soft target while real criminals are going free. How about the time you got into trouble with your tax because a professional multinational company didn’t fulfill their duties, or even better, because a government department which smacks of incompetency and corruption.
To many times in our adulthood we are confronted with situations completely out of the individual’s means of control. The more people find themselves enduring these forces the more peoples mind’s wander, and the more questions Christians keep asking themselves. Why do un-godly methods seem to pave the way to so-called success?
I have Faith, where am I going wrong? If I apply uncouth, devilish tactics, can I get ahead too?
It also doesn’t help with the way Children are sometimes brought up in regards to the Church and the Lord. These experiences have direct influence on their feeling of Christianity in adulthood. They soon find church less appealing in the face of threatening and overzealous messages sent out by some church Ministers and denominations. Young adults quickly find church less fashionable compared to other distractions which help them to compete in the modern world.
I’m very proud in which we worship at St Barnabas. With the current Church Leaders we are blessed to have, and the plans, the thought process and willingness to expand into the local community, this can will only benefit the great divide possessing modern city living. Hopefully this will etch an impression in people that restoring Faith can be accomplished in our community.
Perhaps the sermons should at times concentrate on the real and pressing modern influences which our congregation perhaps are feeling, and find hard to deal with. How can these pressures be dismissed or helped through scripture and God. I really think many people get lost in trying to find answers to very modern problems. If people can buy it, sell it, steal it, bribe for it or any other conceivable wrong way, they will.
In the past couple weeks I have been feeling totally directionless and helpless in what should have been a easy business process. Instead, quite the opposite impacted me severely. I was at the lowest ebb in confidence and spirit, ready to pack it all in virtually. What a difference our very own St Barnabas did, with my chin on my chest arriving at the Creative Worship Workshop on Thursday I walked out refreshed and inspired, perhaps exactly the type of worship the modern Christian needs.