This post builds on our critical need for civil conversation.
Before engaging cultural issues outside the church, Christ-followers initially need to discuss their theology, faith, convictions, and preferences among themselves. This will not happen randomly, but intentionally and organically through a Spirit guided and guarded checks and balances process instituted by Jesus Christ in Matthew 16:17-19 and 18:18. This process is called “binding and loosing.”
Binding and loosing takes place when a community of believers debate, discuss, pray, wrestle, and make decisions about the Bible, while depending on the Spirit to guide them. Jesus expects His followers to be engaged in the endless process of deciding what it means to actually live the Scriptures. We can only bind (forbid) and loose (allow) when we believe the Bible to be alive and active, “embracing it as the wild, uncensored, and passionate account of people experiencing the living God, who cannot be tamed.” The result is that everyone walks away humbled because they have encountered the Eternal. They walk away “limping” (Genesis 32:24-32).
Examples of the theological foundations that often link to culture:
- What kind of book or collection of books is the Bible?
- What about the reality of Satan and the powers of darkness?
- Why are we timid when discussing human sexuality?
- Don’t we need a better way to talk about the future?
- What is the nature of the good news of the Kingdom of God?
- Is God really sovereign? Is the God of the Old Testament different from the God in the New Testament?
- What is involved in the whole concept of praying?
- What really happens to those who have died?
- Why can’t believers get along?
In our next post there will be a discussion about how believers might engage cultural issues.