16th January 2017

Back to Basics 

“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth…Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers.”
2 Timothy 2:15, 14 (NKJV)

We were having a ‘discussion’ about what we believed. In the end, for some in the group, it turned more into an argument because we discovered that many believed slightly different details concerning some minor areas of our belief. At which point I deliberately changed the subject. But it did raise the point: The closer we can stay to the Biblical originals in our thinking as Christians, the better we can steer clear of personal opinions and reinventing Christianity into our own image.

It’s all been done before. I have recently been reading a book all about the heresies of the first three centuries* and I recognise many of those as surviving into our modern world and even into Christianity itself. But it didn’t work or survive back then, and it won’t today. Of course many Christians will always continue to wish to follow whatever measures and actions they feel comfortable with, and what they regard as essential in their Christian heritage. Fine; we all do the same and probably always will. But let us be careful to note that we dwell in a fallen world, and our God does not. He wants us to leave—just like Lot, and not with regrets like Lot’s wife—this world’s values, morals and materialistic lifestyle, and he has made it possible for us to do so.

The upshot is that, whether we’re comfortable with what we hear in Church or not, the lasting legacy of our human founder under God almost 100 years ago is sound—he always urged: “Don’t believe me, go to your own Bible and see it there for yourself.” That’s what we continue to do, and the result has been the leaner, healthier, simpler Christianity we promote today.

Heavenly Father, thank you for leading us as you have always led us. Thank you for the love you have unfailing shown to us as we strive to follow you faithfully. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Study by John Stettaford

* The Church History of the first three centuries by Dr Ferdinand Christian Baur, in the English translation from the German by The Rev. Allan Menzies, in three volumes. William and Norgate, publishers, London 1878.


About the Author: johnstettaford
John Stettaford is an Elder in the Reading Congregation of the Worldwide Church of God UK.

Local Congregation:
Worldwide Church of God Reading
Prospect School,
Room A1 (Main Building)
Honey End Lane

Meeting Time:
Saturday 11am

Local Congregational Contact:
John Stettaford
Phone: 01923-241426
Email: pastor@wcg-reading.org.uk

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