Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Conservative & liberal

No one can truly read another person’s heart, but it looks to me like the ideas of “conservative” and “progressive” approaches to doctrine have a lot more to do with the psychology of the disciple than with the Word of the Lord. Conservatives choose an approach that lets them hold onto what they’ve always done, to keep discipleship comfortable and familiar. Progressives embrace an approach that encourages change and expresses their liberation from restrictions they were forced to live with in the past. Both are imbalanced approaches to discipleship.

How do we find balance? Some churches make a valiant effort to have it both ways through “blended” services and other compromises. True balance comes not from moving to the center, but from running headlong to the cross. When we come to know the overflowing, loving grace of God, we see both our freedom and our bondage--not to our psyches, but to our Lord. Mature disciples know both that “all things are permitted” and that “not all things are helpful.” Mature discipleship is more broad than the most progressive congregation and more narrow than the most conservative--both at the same time.

(c) Copyright 2007, A. Milton Stanley

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