the journey onwards

I have not blogged so much over the last couple of weeks. So much has happened…

For a start I am working on having more conversation in real time. One of those (and the emails that followed after) brought this verse to my full attention:

God says “I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out – plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for”
Jeremiah 29 v 11 (message)

So what has happened these last two weeks?

Well, after much heavy-hearted, prayerful, tearful and thoughtful discussion with my wife, we made a decision to leave our church and our denomination. The last few years have been difficult, and this decision has taken about two years or so to make. We are not blaming others or ourselves, we both accept that our view of Christianity, in belief and action is significantly different from what is deemed normal to the community we have left.

We have not lost our way, or lost our faith, although I admit that the next few months will be tricky. We have great confidence that God will restore all of creation under the authority of Christ. We are constantly exploring, questioning, and wrestling with new and creative ways to live out and communicate the teachings of Jesus. We continue to believe that the Church is God’s ongoing presence in the world. Led by the Spirit of God, we are passionate about relieving suffering and fighting injustice, joining the God of the oppressed in living out the transforming message of the resurrected Jesus.

As part of the process we have found the narrative theology page of Mars Hill hugely helpful in articulating our thoughts. Its final paragraph is one we have adopted as our own:

We believe the day is coming when Jesus will return to judge the world, bringing an end to injustice and restoring all things to God’s original intent. God will reclaim this world and rule forever. The earth’s groaning will cease and God will dwell with us here in a restored creation. On that day we will beat swords into tools for cultivating the earth, the wolf will lie down with the lamb, there will be no more death, and God will wipe away all our tears. Our relationships with God, others, ourselves, and creation will be whole. All will flourish as God intends. This is what we long for. This is what we hope for. And we are giving our lives to living out that future reality now.

We are describing our time at the moment as ‘being in retreat’. We are working our way through every reference to church, believers and followers in the NT as part of a process we need to go through as we workout our role in God’s plan and where this might take us.

I will continue to blog, although I don’t know how often!

Grace and peace