Most of the time it doesn’t help if we go into theological hair splitting. There are many minor details, that we can start to discuss and strife about. Many times that happens, if you start to debate with people who tend to have a teaching-gift, or are mindful theologians. We can disagree and still are one as brothers and sisters. It’s not about being right or wrong! It’s about growing in faith and in the knowledge of Christ and in the intimate realationship we have with him. And it is about growing in encouragement, to change the planet for the better.
This is my stance for our community here and for all respectful debating and discussions. However, the teaching style of the Rabbis (and therefore of Jesus) was conversational and controversial. The disciples would ask questions, – or even the Rabbi was asking questions, and the whole group starts to discuss, share opinions and – most important – share the heart. We can learn so much, if we listen to each other.
That said, I woul still like to point out some of the common goals and purposes of this journey of conversation in this community:
- Jesus rules! Now! His kingdom is not at hand any more, it is here! Jesus is on the throne now (Phil 2:9-11), and all the nations of the world have been given legally to him as his inheritance (Ps 2:8/Rev 11:15). The reason, why the earth does not look like heaven yet is, because it is our job to take into posession the inheritance of christ (as the father sent me, so do I send you / making disciples of all nations). It is like the promised land: It was all given to Israel legally, but at the same time they hade to conquer it. Everything is ours, but not everything is taken yet. Like Hebr 10:39 says, we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed (back in the desert of the eschatology of despair), but we will take the earth as our inheritance. We want to be encouraged to raise up his kingdom here and now as his legitimate and empowered sons and daughters. The good news is this: God is about to rule his creation again!
- His Kingdom is not of this world.It is not established by the means and methods of this world. The main difference is:
- The kingdoms of this world work from outside in (putting you under an outward power system and influencing your thoughts, conclusions and convictions by force.
- The Kingodm of Heaven works from inside out (giving you new conclusions and convictions – about God and your new Identity, about your purpose and destiny – through the happy message of the Gospel and releasing the rivers within, that will finally influence and transform the world around you).
Each one of us is an agent of this kingdom according to his identity, giftings and anointings. We don’t play the power game, we let the rivers flow!
- The Gospel is the good message of a happy God! His love, grace and unconditional acceptance revealed in Christ raptures you into complete unity with him and with each other. His perfect love drives away all fear. Every message, that creates fear, condemnation, and separation is not the happy Gospel of the Kingdom. That’s why we can not accept an eschatology that induces fear in people, takes away hope and reempowers a defeated enemy.
- To understand the Bible, we have to read it from it’s cultural and historic context. We also have to take notice what kind of literature a specific book or passage of the bible consits of. In considering this, we have to decide how we understand a passage and interpret it allegorically or literal. We need to interpret the Bible with the Bible. Especially in bible prophecy, the main question is not: Do we interpret it literally or symbolically. The question is: Do we interpret it contextual or speculative.