Pastor’s Corner | “The Starting Point of Change”

Thoughts from Christian author, Randy Alcorn, on the importance of Systematic Theology:   “I’ve seen a noticeable, even startling, reduction in the average person’s grasp of biblical truth. It’s possible for someone to hear Bible-based sermons while at the same time they’re adopting a worldview that is less and less Biblical. This happens because most church people spend very little time studying God’s truth during the week.”

Randy has a point.  We are daily pounded with the values of materialism and post-modern selfishness couched as philosophical, political, and social idealism.  Yet, at the same time, our need is for us to learn, and use, decisions and stances based not on the predominant secular culture that surrounds us, regardless of how good the ideals may be, but on the values of Christ that have held the test of time!

This “Christian selected pathway” often brings us in direct conflict with what our world says should be viewed as successful, appropriate, important, or caring.  If you don’t believe me, try reminding a true dog or cat lover that their animal is not a human and see how they respond!  Try explaining to your friends that you are giving up your medical practice to move to a small town in Chad to open a clinic for the poor.  Try explaining, even to other Christians, that you are giving up a US$130,000 job to go where you feel God can use you more effectively at 1/2 the salary!  The pressures to blend the Christian’s values and goals into the society’s are everywhere.  Having said that, there are times when the church’s goals may work in conjunction with our society’s needs but there is no guarantee of this.  For us, we must remember that Christ focuses on the spiritual needs of men BEFORE he focuses on their temporary conveniences or cultural sensitivities around us.  Christ chose not to change the world in the way that the Jewish leaders expected a Messiah to do but to be the spiritual model that changed the hearts and values of people.  May we be courageous enough to change our world with His approach.

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“改变的起点

基督徒作家 Randy Alcorn 对「系统神学重要性」的想法:「我看到一般人对圣经真理的了解有令人吃惊、值得注意的退步。 人可以听圣经基础的讲道,同时却接受愈来愈少圣经教导的世界观。 这种现象是因为教会里大多数人在周间研读上帝真理的时间越来越少。 」

Randy 指出一重点:我们的哲学、政治及社会理想天天被物质主义及后现代主义的自私论冲击。 在此同时,无论周遭属世文化概念有多好,我们需要把持经过时间验证过的基督价值观来学习及应用,以它作为决定的立足点。

「基督徒选择的道路」常常导致我们和世界所说的成功、适当、重要或关心起冲突。 如果你不相信我,试试提醒一个真正爱猫或狗的人说,他们的动物不是人,看看他们的反应! 试试向你的朋友解释你将放弃你的医疗诊所事业,搬到非洲查德的小镇为穷人开诊;甚至向其他基督徒解释你为什么要放弃年薪13万美金的工作,而去到一个薪资只有一半,但却知上帝会更加能使用你的地方。 混合社会与基督徒价值及目的的压力到处都有。 话说如此,教会的目的与社会的需要有可能一致,但却不能保证一定如此。 我们必须记得基督首先注重人的灵命需要,而非他们暂时性舒适或对我们周遭文化的敏感。 基督选择改变世界,不是以犹太领袖们期待的弥赛亚方式去做;而是以属灵榜样去改变人心及价值观。 愿我们有足够勇气,用祂的方式去改变我们的世界。