Today at healingsprings fellowship

Immortality has always been something humankind yearned for.

It is captured in poetry, story telling and folk traditions of most known civilisations. In an era when people died from natural disasters, accidents, child birth, wars, famine, and diseases; superstition was rife. The idea of an ‘angry God’ punishing humankind with plagues and natural disasters made sense.

Socioeconomically, in the absence of justice for the poor and marginalised in the present world, the idea of an afterworld, resurrection, judgement, heaven and hell; gained traction in the central doctrine of most known faiths.

In the Jewish context, the Sadducees were opposed to these ideas, while the Pharisees, and later Christians held on to these view.

Consequently, what happened on the third day after the death and burial of Christ became the first recorded evidence of this once mythical idea. For Christians, the risen lord was also coming back in judgement against those who do not believe in his lordship.

In an era of great pain and injustice, the resurrection, afterlife, judgement and punishment was a very strong deterrent from evil, and a compelling message for the followers of Christ.

To this end Paul argued that:

If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.” – (1 Cor. 15:13–14)

Join us on this snowy winter day 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

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.

Reachout | Revive | Recover

Www.healingsprings.org.uk

Thought Leaders Series: 2017

The correct way to approach the Old Testament is to engage it as a collection of historical writings, commentaries, and views of Jewish thinkers of the Divine.

Treating it as ‘the word of God’ gives the notion of finality, thereby, hindering us from continuing the painstaking work of theology as these scholars themselves did in their time. It also presents the view that God has stopped working with, and through us today.

The New Testament consists of the accounts and correspondence of followers of Jesus. People who themselves were busy trying to make sense of all they had seen, heard, or were experiencing.

In fact, among Jewish thinkers in Roman occupied Palestine there was a real sense that the perpetuation of evil and injustice that they were experiencing will eventually lead to an end to human existence. For Jesus however, heaven had met earth, hence the call for ‘Repentance’, as he envisioned and articulated the possibility of God’s kingdom here on earth.

Like any revolutionary idea, this kingdom stood firmly against the existing structures and institutions. Its values will eventually overcome the existing structures through their kindness and love for all regardless of race, class, or gender.

It was a none-violent struggle, a battle of ideas, costing the lives of many. It would later be made mainstream. Curtailed and modified, so it fits with the old power structures of Rome. This is largely the version of Christianity practised today.

Reachout | Revive | Recover

http://www.healingsprings.org.uk

Thought Leaders Series: 2017

Unlearning to Learn Anew – putting on the Veil of Ignorance.

Building on the work of Emmanuel Kant and other leading minds in discussions on Social Contract, John Rawls applies the concept in his seminal book: A Theory of Justice.

For Rawls, our personal biases and prejudices often affect our political position. Therefore, for true freedom and justice to prevail, we need to actively minimise them by assuming a position of ignorance (the Veil of Ignorance).

This discipline is important in Christianity, especially in leadership. Every aspect of the faith should be revisited with the “Veil of Ignorance” in order for the faith to breathe and revitalise.

To Veil of Ignorance is similar to the term being “Born Again” which sadly has been largely misunderstood. Jesus was in fact asking Nicodemus to unlearn all he had learnt, to put on the “Veil of Ignorance” in order to be a part of the new movement. The knowledge he had accrued through years of active participation in the religious system was suddenly an hindrance to his spiritual growth. What Jesus was advancing needed an open mind, if you may, a blank canvas.

Jesus highlights this position on many occasions, perhaps most notably when he challenged the actions of the leaders stating,

“… thus making void the word of God through your tradition that you have handed on. And you do many things like this.” – (Mark 7:13)

The Judeo-Christian faith was never, and has never been concrete, hence we see the plea for Reformation at various points in history through the prophets and much later Jesus Christ.

The Born Again experience is therefore a state of mind and a way of life, not an event. It is an attitude of re-evaluation, critical thinking, rethinking, unlearning, learning; and dare I say, being humble enough to learn from other disciplines and faith. Thus Galloway notes:

“The question of God – the basic question of theology – is not the special concern of the ‘religious’ or those who happen to like that sort of thing. It arises out of the structure of human existence and is thus the most fundamental and universal concern of all mankind. Theology, therefore, is as public a discipline as philosophy or natural science. It belongs, in the first instance, in the university rather than the seminary” – (1973, p. 16)

This is what we see in the life of Jesus as he questioned the very foundations of the Jewish faith: Temple rituals, Sabbath, moral and legal codes, culture, and traditions.

Dear friends, if there has ever been a time when the World is willing to listen again to what we have to offer – it is now! When these Jephthah[s] arrive and after the goosebumps they feel when they encounter the Holy Spirit, they will still need to be taught.

My question to you – what are we teaching them? We have inherited lots of stuff that are now having detrimental effects on our psyche and faith.

We have to unlearn, to learn anew.

Reachout | Revive | Recover

http://www.healingsprings.org.uk

Thought Leaders Series: 2017

Old Habits Die Hard.

The word anti-intellectualism is nowadays synonymous to Christianity, especially Evangelicals and Pentecostals.

By way of background an anti-intellectual is simply a person who believes that intellect and reason are less important than actions and emotions in solving practical problems and understanding reality.

Anti intellectualism is alien to Judeo-Christian culture or history. In fact as well as others the term ‘Teacher’ was one of Jesus’ titles. Judges, Kings, Priests, Rabbis, Prophets, the disciples, and even Paul were all seasoned intellectuals. We can still see this today in the priority the Jews give to academia, and the position they hold in most professions in leading economies.

Anti intellectualism crept into Christianity by stealth. As churches became elitist, break away faction (who were mostly from the poor and underclass) started reorienting towards the idea of “being led by the spirit”. These poor uneducated well meaning leaders were solely dependent on “signs and wonders” as they lacked basic education, not to mention theological training. Doctrines, exegesis, and interpretation became skewed; and those who dare question them were ostracised from their congregations.

One of these breakaway factions is the Pentecostal movement, which came out of the Methodist movement. As this group attracted the poor and underclass, they found affinity with the oppressed, especially those within Black communities in the West and developing World – owing to their common struggle.

Much later some within the movement saw the need for theological education and training, but by this time habits had been formed which made their way into the curriculum as doctrines. Besides, most people within the movement did not see the need for training or education as all they needed was prayer, fasting and “signs and wonders” to vindicate their activities.

For those who have “eyes to see”, when we fast forward to the 21st century we see the damaging effect of poor theological understanding, epitomised in anti intellectualism. As a result, ignorance and mediocrity prevails.

Jesus challenged Nicodemus,

“Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things? – (John 3:10)

Reachout | Revive | Recover

http://www.healingsprings.org.uk

HEAVEN’S ECONOMY

While we bury our heads in the sand doing ‘church as usual’, the barriers of consciousness are being pushed with robotics and artificial intelligence.

In fact scientists predict that before the end of this century we will see bespoke interventions to alter DNAs, and biomechanics that can enhance our current capabilities beyond our wildest dreams.

In a global context we see countries like Singapore, Mexico, India and China benefit from the impact of cheap labour as companies in the West are pushed to increase profit margins for shareholders, and fend-off competitors.

But where is the developing and underdeveloped world in all this?

Is this something we ought to be thinking about?

Phased with similar challenges in his era, in one of his reflection prophet Jeremiah notes,

“If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan? – (Jeremiah 12:5)

Where do we start, and how do we realign the levels of inequality in our world?

Join us as we explore the building blocks for a Christ-centred commerce.

Saturday 25th November 2017,

10:30 – 1pm

Order tickets below, spaces are limited.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/heavens-economy-tickets-39013175458?ref=estw