This is the Christian Blog of Jeff Ward (Lowville, NY) to help those seeking a deeper walk with God: a Faith based upon the Spirit’s leading, with a focus on the teachings of Jesus and Paul.
“I am convinced to honestly follow the Holy Spirit as Jesus and Paul instructed in their teachings and equally put on view, through their works and convictions, as deeds that are natural, doable.
I will also use the rest of the Bible, other writings of the Christian Faith (past and present), and my own musings in setting forth my arguments: to set a course for a new conversation, rather than “try to tell you that I know everything (because I do not) and throw out anything that seems to contradict my values”. I am genuine about these topics from this frame of mind, when after all, I need to bear witness to what I have seen and heard (as in the early part of 1st John). Test this angle of view, through and through, chew on it a bit, and read some other renderings. And live life.
The Apostle Paul defined stages in understanding God ranging from elementary teaching to, shall we say, a “Fully Fledged” adult capable of standing on their own two feet with keen spiritual insight and judgement. I want the Holy Spirit to be our leader, not theology, traditions, or the people we have appointed to leadership positions. (I do not see my writings to work apart from established teachings — rather the contrary — but to have the concepts “hookup” with our normal mode of thinking and doing). I am for the Holy Spirit (and therefor God and Jesus) to be our (this list is not complete) life, guide, inspiration, hope, designer, encourager, hope, glory, and perfecter — there is no Earthly leader that can replace God’s function in our lives. There is a place where you and God can meld and mesh into a surpassing, ideal understanding in your relationship with God, yourself, and Planet Earth.
I describe myself as a “Heinz 57” Christian, a background consisting of several flavors of the Christian Faith. Conservative to liberal, I can celebrate the Eucharist in a traditional church and find deep meaning while also play guitar and sing, let’s just say: Christian music that could “rock people out of the pews”. The musical style of Chant is uplifting. I find the teachings of Apostolic and Pentecostal traditions inspiring as compared to the “little country church” where miracles happen in a more subtle manner. I love how Catholics talk of Faith as a journey, yet Protestants and Anabaptists have made inroads in this world and in lives of individuals’ that uncompromisingly change lives. The Quakers and home groups also play into my Faith. I could write a book about these comparisons… maybe that is what this blog is all about? I believe in the Holy Spirit’s leading above all else. If I say something to cause you to question my allegiance: my belief can be summed up in the Apostles’ Creed and Nicene Creed. I do not cater towards any denomination.
The Bible is essentially timeless. These are inspired writings in the the story of God, that have been preserved for us, leading to understandings that transcend time and speak to us today. I assert that we should consider Biblical verses that are not as familiar to us, in our daily, well-worn theological grasp. Move us out, to discover God in new, wholesome understandings, and draw us away from some of what we are comfortable with. In talking to God and each other about what each Truth means to each of us — individuals and groups alike — and walk forward in a keenness and intimacy that, before, was not present.
THESE STATEMENTS SHOULD HELP YOU TO CHECK IF THIS BLOG WILL BE OF INTEREST TO YOU:
- FEEL ATTENDING A CHURCH ONCE A WEEK IS NOT ENOUGH.
- WANT TO WADE INTO THE DEEPER, HOPEFULLY THE DEEPEST THINGS IN GOD.
- THE CHRISTIAN’S ENDGAME IS TO KNOW GOD, AND OF COURSE JESUS, AND THE HOLY SPIRIT, NOT ONLY TO KNOW YOUR BIBLE.
- THE STATEMENT, “I HAVE A THEOLOGY, BUT FOLLOW MY LOVE FOR GOD,” RESONATES WITH YOU.
In this last statement the word “theology” is defined as a grouping of logical Biblical quotations, a kind of P and Q statement, set as a reasoning or defense for your belief. If you were challenged about your beliefs, these could be used to convince someone why you believe what you believe. Yet, to me, following, that is, knowing God beyond our logical, “theological” arguments lies a friendship, love, and caring; easing us, both collectively and individually, to a give-and-take relationship with God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit.
“I have a theology, but follow my love for God.”
I am not a formally trained theologian and do not make that claim. However my musings and prayer have led to many questions, that, to me, are worth writing for you to inspect according to your own understanding. The Bible brings nuances of the Faith to light in many ways, yet leaves us to ask questions only to answer these same questions from within ourselves. This blog is an attempt to cause thoughtful reflection. I want you to deliberate, pray, and postulate on whether to quash, adjust, or utilize the concept(s) as stated.
The term “Ascetic” is not used in its’ strictist sense — as a person who undertakes renouncing all things worldly — but in a lesser value. Never-the-less I have lost many things of this world, and living in humbled circumstances has helped me to “build treasure in heaven.” It also could be said my musings have created misunderstandings and distances between myself and some in the church community; because my frame of reference comes from a “solitary place” that is apart from those who have only a regular attendance in a particular church. We each are expressing cultural and faith traditions and understandings from particular scriptural verses; but differing verses nonetheless. I can appear to come from “somewhere off the beaten Path.”
The Truths of God can be given in many ways. Most of the time this is attempted with sermons, lectures, books, and video. But plain, simple, honest, and open dialogue between believers is essential for Christians to grow to maturity. Christians typically convince others to adopt their own viewpoint, without first understanding where the other person is coming from. From Proverbs 27;17, where iron is the metal used to sharpen itself, Gathering each other to chat about beliefs — allowing individuals to be heard for what they are intending to say, along with a pliability to be open for oneself to change in attitude and ideology — in an attitude of “listening with the intent of understanding” will enrich individuals and therefore the entire Christian community.