“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.
What are you thinking about right now? Are you considering any new ideas or imagining new possibilities or realities? Have our churches become so populated by homogenous believers that there is no room for any competing philosophies?
Certainly, our local congregations must hold tightly to the foundations of our faith and not be drawn away by every new and fancy fad. Truly, we must teach the absolutes of Scripture without compromise, but I wonder if we have stopped thinking and growing along the way.
Recently, our team read a book together called Beauty Will Save the World, written by Pastor Brian Zahnd, which led to some great debate. It angered a few, challenged most of us, but made all of us think about some long held beliefs. At the end of the journey, many of us did not change our minds, but at least it caused us to stop and rethink why we believed what we believed.
Are you willing to listen to people outside your primary stream? I am not asking you to change your mind, but I am challenging you to at least listen. The older we get, we must be more intentional to continue our curious pursuit of learning. We must resist dogmatic beliefs that are based on assumptions rather than empirical evidence.
A thinking believer, rooted in the ancient truths of our faith, but infatuated with growing, resisting the stagnation of tired traditions, is a powerful force. God gave us both hearts and brains. We should nurture, cultivate and care for both.