Today at healingsprings fellowship

Broadly speaking, in Judaism Yahweh is perceived as Constant while all else is Variable. This philosophical tradition is responsible for the various theological explanations of their socioeconomic conditions through Jewish history.

Cleaving on to stories of supernatural interventions their ancestors passed on through their rich oral tradition, they waited in hope for Divine intervention whenever they encountered challenges.

Interestingly, apart from a small numbers of miracles recorded in their Cannon, and the fact that most times Yahweh never showed – up as they were told he did in the era of Moses and Joshua, their prophets and priests still urged them to remain faithful to their tradition and religious systems.

Even though in the recorded text we see Yahweh showing up amidst the sin, rebellion, and irreverence of the people as they journeyed from Egypt to The Promised Land; whenever they encountered disaster they will blame it on sin (missing the mark or standard).

This includes actions and omissions, or a lack of adherence to the written or revealed word, or even Yahweh choosing to defer justice to the Afterlife. So much so that the leaders even added more layers and safeguards to prevent the people from ‘sinning’; all in the hope that Yahweh will show up and deliver them from their enemies. Overtime these rules became a burden on the people. Hence Jesus’ call to them:

“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” – (Matthew 11:28-30)

Yahweh did not show up after Josiah’s reform, Uzziah’s reform, The Exile, Ezra’s reform, and the reforms which led to the Great Revolt against the Romans, and subsequent destruction of Judea, and the dispersion by the Romans. But yet they were still urged towards faithfulness, and to ‘wait’ on Yahweh.

I think there is a lesson for Christians, especially in the 21st Century. We cannot judge God based on his ‘performance’, rather, we are called into faithfulness. We are called to be lights and salt. A city set upon a hill, which cannot be hidden. We are called to infect this world with love and kindness.

To this end, we are not hooked on doctrines like the virgin birth, miracles, or even resurrection. Rather, we are focussed on his teaching and moral examples as we remain faithful to the Call to co-create a better World.

Join us for Resurrection and Ascension as part of our series, God Was in Christ.

3:00-4:30pm, coffee and light refreshments afterwards.

St John’s Hall

Church Rd,

Sidcup DA14 6BX

Reachout | Revive | Recover

http://www.healingsprings.org.uk

Today at healingsprings fellowship

When faced with challenges we have a tendency to look to the past for answers. We also find this pattern as a reoccurring theme in stories within the bible.

Like most things in the bible, sometimes it is encouraged, other times it is discouraged. For the Israelites being led out of Egypt, they had to look forward. For the Israelites in Babylon, they had to look back to move forward.

Consequently, looking back for answers is fine to an extent, as long as we also consider the present, and prepare for the future.

If we only look to the past for answers, then we become stuck in the past. Making it difficult to make progress.

I use this example to emphasise the power of worldview or mindsets. It is the lenses from which we view and react to the World and it’s complexities.

Everyone has a worldview. It may be more or less conscious or systemic. It may or may not make reference to institutional religious or non-religious perspectives. It is one of the core tasks of faith leaders to enable people to reflect on their own and others’ world-views.

For society to flourish, people need to understand where their own and others’ worldview come from, to understand their impact on people’s actions in a whole range of areas of human life, and to be able to critique them in a climate of respect.

Paul notes in his letter to friends in Ephesus:

There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all. (Eph. 4:4-6)

Join us today for ONE

3:00-4:30pm

St John’s Hall

Church Rd,

Sidcup DA14 6BX

Reachout | Revive | Recover

http://www.healingsprings.org.uk

Thought Leaders Series: 2017

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved by him, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly explaining the word of truth. – (2 Timothy 2:15)

The popular way of reading the Bible is through one dimension. I don’t know why we do this, because we don’t read any other book that way. This, I believe is the biggest challenge facing the Church.

When we assume this position we take the text literally, and we read or study from our Worldview.

For example, the Fishermen from Galilee are seen as mere fishermen today. We fail to understand that like Jesus (whom many assume was self-taught), these men would have benefited from the reform by Ezra et al. As such they would have been in education from the age of 5 to at least 17, and at this point they would have studied a vocation in preparation for marriage.

A small amount would continue with further studies, thereby deferring marriage. In fact this was the only reason why a man could defer marriage. They would have studied Jewish history, commentaries, prophetic texts, wisdom texts, and poetry.

We also loose the sociopolitical forces at play at the time of the writing (the context), the opposing arguments, the prevailing worldview, and the author’s intent (the spirit of the writing).

In essence, these life transforming Texts becomes powerless when these dimensions are ignored. They become shallow and irrelevant in thoughts and deeds.

Reachout | Revive | Recover

http://www.healingsprings.org.uk

Today @ Healingsprings fellowship

The Hebrew notion of truth has its root in the word: ‘Demet’, which simply means reliability. It is the unshakable dependability of a thing, a word, or, the faithfulness of a person.

Unlike the Greek idea of truth, it is not timeless, binding or rigid, rather, it is fluid. In other words Demet has to occur repeatedly in history. For example:

“I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” – Ex. 3:6

Therefore, in the Hebrew sense of truth all of reality is regarded historically. We see this in their understanding of the Exile, as they looked back in history in interpreting the event.

We also see this on the ‘Road to Emmaus’ as the disciples were taken on a historical journey by Jesus in interpreting an event – on this occasion his death (Luke 24:13-25).

To this end Pannenberg argues that, “Truth is that which will show itself in the future.” The future gives meaning to the past and present. Hence the philosophical idea of, “all things working together for good” (Rom. 8:28)

Therefore, we read the scriptures retroactively for now through the life and ministry of Jesus, until ‘Truth’ is finally revealed in Jesus’ Second Coming. So we live in ‘anticipation’, as we continue the work of co-creation, reconciling the world to God.

Join us for God Was In Christ when I’ll be doing a recap of our journey so far as we prepare our hearts and minds for the Jesus’ Resurrection next week!

3pm – 4:30pm

The Parish Hall

St John’s Sidcup,

Church Road,

Sidcup,

Kent DA14 6BX

Reachout | Revive | Recover

http://www.healingsprings.org.uk

Thought Leaders Series: 2017

All behaviours are created by beliefs. Beliefs are underpinned by stories.

Stories are powerful. They cannot be destroyed, but they can be replaced. Therefore, in order to change behaviour, we need better stories.

To this end, Jesus changed the story about God and humanity. He moved away from the idea of an angry God seeking retribution, to a loving Father seeking a loving relationship with creation. Hence his overarching call for repentance [rethink, re-evaluate, re-appraise].

Our task is to revitalise this story in our time with contemporary anecdotes, keeping it alive and relevant.

Our task is that of thought leadership. We are incubators of Godly ideas, translators of metaphysical realities, the ‘ladder’ that connects heaven to earth. Co creators with the Father.

Let’s go to work!

Reachout | Revive | Recover

http://www.healingsprings.org.uk

This Sunday @ Healingsprings fellowship

Renown Poet and Aphorist, Stanislaw Lec once posed the question:

Is it progress if a cannibal uses a fork?

This question sets the scene for my teaching on Atonement which I presented last week with the central question:

Did Jesus die to appease an Angry God, or did he die to demonstrate self-emptying (kenosis)?

I noted that sacrificial lamb idea was used by the early or primitive church as a metaphor for Jewish audiences who were already familiar with Temple worship and practices, to highlight Jesus’ death and resurrection. It was also used in shaping the minds of gentile converts who were already familiar with similar Temple rituals within their cultural contexts.

Unlike other deities, God neither seeks human or animal sacrifice for communion with humanity. Neither is God Angry and Unforgiving.

In the early days of Nation forming, the Jews replicated the idea of known institutions from other civilisations, but they incorporated their spiritual philosophy within such context – hence the first and subsequent Temples. We also see this pattern in their government – from rule by the prophets, to rule through a royal dynasty, and an organised army like the nations around them.

I argued further that Prophets like Amos challenged Temple worship much later in their trajectory, drawing them back to a time when all they had was the Tabernacle, while addressing issues around social justice and morality as means of ‘atonement’.

Furthermore, for the Atonement through death formula to stand, there has to be the doctrine of ‘Original Sin’ and an ‘Angry God’, however, Jesus never presented either of these positions to us. Instead, he continually showed us a loving Father who seeks relationship with his children – even before his death on the cross.

Jesus came to show us the Father. He demonstrated and modelled this in many instances, particularly in the Parable of the Prodigal Son.

Therefore, I concluded that a God that seeks human sacrifice (let alone the innocent death of his son) is not different from the pagan gods, even if we take the view that God died for us through Jesus.

This teaching is erroneous, and leads to grave consequences in our understanding of Jesus’ ministry, and our view or perception of God.

If ever there was an Atonement, Jesus’ selfless living, ministry, non-violence stance against opposition, and death in innocence; enlightens our understanding of God. By this he bridges the gap, bringing us at One with God (Atonement). He came to show the Father!

Join us for the series: God was in Christ, as I delve further into the Doctrine of Atonement.

3pm – 4:30pm

The Parish Hall

St John’s Sidcup,

Church Road,

Sidcup,

Kent DA14 6BX

Reachout | Revive | Recover

http://www.healingsprings.org.uk

Thought Leaders Series: 2017

Did Jesus die to appease an Angry God, or did he die to demonstrate self-emptying (kenosis)?

By way of background, the sacrificial lamb idea was used in the early or primitive church as a metaphor for Jewish audiences who were already familiar with Temple worship and practices, to highlight Jesus’ death and resurrection. It was also used in shaping the minds of gentile converts who were already familiar with similar Temple rituals within their cultural contexts.

Unlike other deities, God neither seeks human or animal sacrifice for communion with humanity. In the early days of Nation forming, the Jews replicated the idea of known institutions from other civilisations, but they incorporated their own spiritual philosophy within such context – hence the first and subsequent Temples. We also see this in their government – from rule by the prophets, to rule through a royal dynasty, and an organised army like the nations around them.

In fact Prophets like Amos will challenge Temple worship much later in their trajectory, drawing them back to a time when all they had was the Tabernacle, while addressing issues around social justice or morality as means of ‘atonement’.

For the Atonement through death formula to stand, there has to be the doctrine of ‘Original Sin’ and an ‘Angry God’, however, Jesus never presented either of these positions to us. Instead, he continually showed us a loving Father who seeks relationship with his children – even before his death on the cross.

Jesus came to show us the Father. He demonstrated and modelled this in many instances, particularly in the Parable of the Prodigal Son.

A God that seeks human sacrifice (let alone the innocent death of his son) is not different from the pagan gods, even if we take the view that God died for us through Jesus.

This teaching is erroneous, and leads to grave consequences in our understanding of Jesus’ ministry, and our view or perception of God.

Dear Friends, Jesus’ selfless living, ministry, non-violence stance against opposition, and death in innocence; enlightens our understanding of God. By this he bridges the gap, bringing us at One with God (Atonement). He came to show the Father!

May the words of our mouth, and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable in your sight lord. Amen.

Reachout | Revive | Recover

http://www.healingsprings.org.uk