I haven’t forgotten about my promise to write about how a Christian woman should strive to live her life.
I’ve been pondering the question, rolling it around in my mind, talking about it with various people now and then, bringing it to the front burner, pushing it to the back burner — and I’m realizing that it’s a big topic.
As I’ve thought about what I want to say, how I want to say it, and how to make sure I say it in such a way that the words that I write are understood as I intend them to be understood, I’ve realized that initial groundwork has to be laid down first. I say that with an inward chuckle; many times when I’ve participated in Bible studies or read books on Biblical topics, I’ve always mentally yawned through the opening section, where the foundations of faith were laid out again. I already knew that stuff, right? Why bother hashing out God’s plan of salvation one more time? Let’s get on to the good stuff!
However, as an older (and hopefully wiser) Christian, I’ve realized that laying the correct foundation is absolutely essential. Because, if the foundation is wrong, then there’s no way one can come to a correct conclusion about whatever Biblical topic one is studying.
Over the years, I’ve had experiences with people, both inside and outside of my church body, who hold to similar beliefs about Jesus and Christianity as I do, but not exactly the same. I would still refer to most of these people as Christians, but as discussions went on about various teachings of the Bible and aspects of Christianity, it was obvious that our different beliefs had a noticeable effect on how we lived our lives.
In some ways, it’s like worship. (It is a tribute to my husband that I am even making this analogy at all. He will laugh when he reads this, but he will agree.) Well, actually, it’s a LOT like worship. There are a lot of Christian denominations out there: Baptist, Reformed, Episcopalian, Methodist, Lutheran, Evangelical, Pentecostal — all of these would fall under the general umbrella of Christianity. Yet if you go to Sunday worship at these various denominations, you will see very different worship services. Why is that, you ask? It’s simple: Each denomination designs their worship in a way that reflects their beliefs. There’s a reason why each of these denominations worship the way they do. Furthermore, that’s why it’s difficult to borrow another denomination’s worship style and use it effectively in your own church without subtlely changing your doctrine along with it. (Yes, I’m talking to you, Church and Changers!)
Anyway, I digress a bit. But my point remains: What you believe affects everything about your Christian life. And that’s what I’m struggling with. Don’t get me wrong; I know what I believe. But how do I effectively and precisely communicate my beliefs in my own words to readers?
I suppose this is the same daunting task that pastors face every week as they prepare to step into the pulpit and preach a sermon.
I’ll keep working on it. The post, perhaps posts, will come. But for a perfectionist like me, it’s not an easy task.