Christian doctrines

Thought Leaders Series: 2018

There are three major areas in Christianity: God (a large part of our understanding of this concept emerges from the Text we commonly refer to as the Old Testament), Jesus (sources include the Gospels and writings, mostly in the Texts we commonly refer to as the New Testament), and the Doctrines (the agreed teaching of church through history).

In simple terms, these doctrines are designed to help followers lead a ‘Christian’ life, in the hope that after death they end up in heaven. Therefore these doctrines are reinforced through sacraments, teaching, preaching, rituals, actions and festivities. Doctrines are also important because it is what those who do not follow the faith witness or experience about a Christian.

In terms of origins, these doctrines were agreed after decades of debates by Bishops (church fathers), underpinned by pretty much the kind of politics we see with Brexit today. The most influential faction won the debate, the doctrines were ratified, and its core elements are encapsulated in the Apostles’ Creed.

Interestingly most Christians, especially those of pentecostal or evangelical traditions have no idea what doctrines they believe in, let alone how the doctrines came about.

As such, when they use words like ‘the Sovereignty of God’ (most times as a means of discrediting the contribution of non-Christians to human progress), you find that they lack the ideological and philosophical underpinnings, or implication of such statements. They fail to understand that they are in fact inferring that God has simply used and dumped such individuals. And not until they become ‘Christians’ such good deed amounts to nothing, let alone a place in heaven.

The reason behind such mindsets is because of a lack of sound theological education. As well as other areas, a theological education explores and even critiques doctrinal positions in light of human progress. Most importantly, it explores the origins of these doctrines, offering scholars the opportunity to analyse them.

Christian doctrines are not cast in stone, they were agreed by the church fathers in response to the sociopolitical challenges of their era. As such they can be reviewed today in light of social progress and challenges.

This was exactly what Jesus was doing with Judaism when he challenged doctrines like the sabbath, giving, relationship with gentiles (non-Jews) etc; ultimately leading to his death. He saw that the faith was both unnatural and socially alienating.

So, instead of assumptions which oftentimes lack credibility – hence the need for ‘faith’, I strongly believe that this tradition of critical analysis is one we should embrace and continue in the church.

Healingsprings fellowship: Human Capital Development

Reachout | Revive | Recover


Holiday – Holy Day

Thought Leaders Series: 2018

The artist popularly known as Madonna released a hit single in 1983, entitled Holiday. Like all magical stories, Holiday had been turned down by singers Phyllis Hyman and Mary Wilson, formerly of The Supremes. In similar vein with the vision of the Olympics and FIFA World Cup, this song calls for a global Holiday.

Written by Curtis Hudson and Lisa Stevens of Pure Energy, the track was presented to Madonna by her producer John “Jellybean” Benitez, during their search for a potential hit track to include in her debut album.

Interestingly the word Holiday actually emerged from the concept of a Holy Day. In Judaism it is a sabbath, a day of abstinence, worship, and rest from all form of toil and exertion.

In Judaism we also have the sabbath week, and the sabbath year (also known as The Year of Jubilee). It was meant to be observed on the seventh year of the seven-year agricultural cycle for the Land of Israel.

As well as leaving the land to replenish, by the end of the year all debts (sadly, like usury and other concepts around social justice, the debts of foreigners was not included) were cancelled, and slaves are set free. In fact, Jeremiah will blame the Exile on the lack of observance of The Jubilee.

To this end scholars argue that the main reason why it was never observed was because of the greed of the ruling elites. They did not want debts cancelled, slaves set free, or a year long holiday for workers.

Once every four years, the FIFA World Cup affords us the opportunity to just relax and enjoy twenty two men chase a leather ball for 90mins.

When was the last time you just relaxed and played? This could take the shape of watching a movie, listening to music, hanging out with friends.

As well as work, play is an important part of being human. Some of the most innovative ideas were conceived through play. In the words of Madonna:

Let love shine

And we will find

A way to come together

Can make things better

We need a holiday

To a great week!

Healingsprings fellowship: Human Capital Development

Reachout | Revive | Recover


From Order to Chaos: a study on Exodus

Exodus chapters 10 – 12

It sometimes feels like we make giant strides to progress, then slip back every now and again.

As well as the Olympics, one of these progressive milestones was the invention of the FIFA WORLD CUP.

A festival designed to bring the world together, regardless of race, religion, or any ideology which divides humanity.

As we celebrate England’s victory over Panama, and Nigeria’s performance against Iceland, take a break and join us as we draw inspiration from Exodus.

3pm today, From Order to Chaos: a study on Exodus

St John the Evangelist Hall, Church Rd, Sidcup DA14 6BX

Healingsprings fellowship: Human Capital Development

Reachout | Revive | Recover