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Moral Critique of the Book of Exodus_3

Today @ Healingsprings fellowship

“They fashioned a tomb for thee, O holy and high one

The Cretans, always liars, evil beasts, idle bellies!

But thou art not dead: thou livest and abidest forever,

For in thee we live and move and have our being.” — Epimenides, Cretica, (6th-century BC philosopher)

Epimenides was not a Christian, in fact he wrote this piece centuries before the birth of Jesus. His writing will go on to inspire the writer of Acts (17:28) and Titus (one of the so-called Pastoral epistles which are regarded by a majority of scholars as pseudepigraphical). By way of definition, pseudepigraphal writings are literary works that were traditionally ascribed to an individual with a view to give it influence. For instance, Titus was traditionally ascribed to Paul, but in-depth study of the text has proved otherwise.

That aside, this and other pastoral letters give us insight into the doctrinal wrangling in the early church. This is pertinent because in recent weeks we have been exploring the impact of Book of Exodus on slavery and colonialism. Hence the admonition in Titus 3:8-9 as a safeguard with a view to consolidate the doctrinal position for the congregation.

Sadly, we do not yet have any scientific evidence (letters or archaeological artefacts) to assess the positions of rival factions in these disputes. But clearly they were also followers of the faith who had issues with particular practices or doctrines. By and large, we can deduce various scenarios through careful analysis of the contents of these letters in understanding the sort of challenges faced by the early church.

But perhaps most importantly, these writings gives us understanding of the source of the tradition of believing by ‘faith’, as to understanding through rational or critical thinking. When followers are expected to receive doctrines by ‘faith’ it leaves no room for questions or debate. Ofcourse, this is all done with a view to protect the congregation (babies in the faith) from the influence of ‘other’ ideas.

It also demonstrates why the faith has always been hostile to any form critical analysis. The effect of this worldview is highly pronounced in cultures where obedience, especially to those in authority is engraved in upbringing, case in point – Africa. As such we have masses who blindly follow faith leaders, even those who have had the privilege of the rigours of higher education.

This mindset permeates all aspect of life hindering self determination, technological advancement, human progress; and appreciation of our common humanity as we retreat to our various strongholds,

So we have people spending hours in church ‘waiting on the Lord’, looking to the sky for a miracle, or to a cult figure in the shape of a church leader; instead of seeking to understand who they are, their purpose, and harnessing their skills and talent in making this world a better place.

The writings of Epimenides also highlights early ideas of resurrection and understanding of the divine, hence they were seamlessly syncretised with Christianity.

Join us at 3pm today for the series: From Order to Chaos: a study on Exodus

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

Healingsprings fellowship: Human Capital Development

http://www.healingsprings.org.uk

Reachout | Revive | Recover

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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

http://www.healingsprings.org.uk

Reachout | Revive | Recover

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#spiritualintelligence

Today at Healingsprings fellowship

Fifa World Cup 2018

The Fifa World Cup is held evert four years. This year’s tournament has been amazing, with lots of twists, turns and big surprises.

We have also been blessed with a beautiful weather and two outstanding teams for a remarkable final.

Join us for our special series on Exodus to mark the final of this memorable World Cup.

We will be having a short service which culminates at 3:45pm with a view to watch the final together at 4pm.

3pm

St John the Evangelist Hall

Church Rd,

Sidcup DA14 6BX

Healingsprings fellowship: Human Capital Development

Reachout | Revive | Recover

http://www.healingsprings.org.uk