My father was a fundamentalist preacher who, during his ministry, pastored three different churches. As I was beginning my journey away from fundamentalism, I shared my discoveries with him and explained why I was changing some of my fundamentalist beliefs. At first it had to do with the KJV being the only legitimate Bible. Later I talked about why dispensationalism (secret rapture theology) was mistaken, and then why the Bible does not teach eternal torment in hell. There were also other issues.
After one discussion, my Father said calmly, “Tim, you don’t leave people with anything.” That comment really hit me hard; all I was doing was tearing down misguided doctrines and giving little to replace them. My father was right.
From that point on, I decided I must learn to share the positive message of the Bible instead of just exposing misguided beliefs. I needed to leave people with something better.
Building a Foundation
For the past two and a half years I have focused this blog on identifying and exposing some of the most harmful baggage among believers today–beliefs that are strongly held and taught in some very large Christian circles but which cause tremendous pain and fear. I counter-balanced this with the positive Biblical messages that had been overshadowed by the misguided beliefs.
I felt it necessary to establish a foundation of information so that I could eventually take a more positive approach. And that time has come.
Whereas my previous focus was on the harmful baggage—with reference to more biblical and appropriate perspectives, the new direction will focus on the positive messages of the Bible contrasted with the negative baggage that burdens many believers today. The positive message—the Good News of Jesus—will be front and center. We will explore the various aspects of the Good News from many different angles using the words and actions of Jesus, himself, and his earliest followers.
The Transition Has Already Begun
Actually the new emphasis already began with last week’s post What is the Good News of Jesus Anyway?; you can read it now if you wish. We started by introducing five major aspects of the Good News and will explore each one over the next few posts.
Following this series, we will take a look at Jesus’ teaching and behavior as reported by the four gospels to see if he, indeed, demonstrates the Good News as I claim, or whether he teaches the baggage that so many believers claim. The words and works of Jesus will give us the answer.
After that we will continue to investigate the teachings and practice of Jesus, as well as responses to the Good News among his followers such as Paul, James, John, and others who wrote letters to believers of that day. Do they really reflect the Good News of Jesus or do they teach a different message? We will include passages that some believers use to support harmful baggage doctrines to determine whether their use of them is valid for their purpose.
Is This of Interest to You?
If this interests you, be sure to subscribe to this blog so that you don’t miss these posts. I look forward to the discussion. ~Tim
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Have a great day! ~Tim