Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Five Rules For Church – Part 1

1. No Irrelevant Teaching.

When I was in seminary I had to take several classes on the history of the Christian Church. In one of these classes I learned about a trend in preaching during the 18th and 19th Centuries that focused less on the Gospel of Jesus Christ and more on social and “practical” subjects such as child-rearing, crop-planting, and the like.

While these are important subjects and God has some things to say about them, they shouldn’t be the main focus of the teaching of the Christian Church.

Central to the teaching of the Christian church is to be the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This teaching is found in the Bible.

In Acts 2:42 it says, “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.”

The apostles’ teaching was both the Old Testament (Peter quotes the OT extensively in the sermon that directly precedes this passage) and Jesus’ teaching during the three years they spent with Him.

That also needs to be the basis for our teaching.

Not the end-all-be-all of our teaching. For if we only teach about Jesus’ death and resurrection we are missing many other relevant teachings of Jesus that are part of the life He came to give us.

The death and resurrection of Jesus need to be the centrality of our teaching. Being at the “center” implies a “before and after” or “left and right.” So it should be with our teaching. We need to include – when appropriate – teachings of pre-Gospel Law: that we are sinners in need of forgiveness. We also need to include – again, when appropriate – teachings of post-Gospel Law: that we are transformed by the death and resurrection of Jesus and can live new lives here and now and in eternity.

“No irrelevant teaching.” The first rule of church.

1 comment:

my2centworth said...

And all this time I thought the central theme was to reflect the love of Christ toward us and that the history of his life was supportive and foundational.
Thank you.