Monday, November 01, 2010

Believing and Being

Something someone said or implied at the recent MERM conference has stuck with me. Someone said that people with more liberal theological beliefs often struggle with low morale. The implication or statement (I can't remember how it was phrased) struck me because in the Methodist Church in South Africa we see an increase in liberal beliefs and an increase in low morale. But I would never have thought of relating them.
As I have thought about it on and off in the last few weeks I am seeing a possible relationship. Certain theologians prefer to focus on the 'now' of salvation rather than the future - to the point of excluding future salvation altogether. This is valuable in combating the extreme of only focusing on future salvation, but I do think leads to low morale in the here and now. Jesus did pray for the coming of his kingdom on earth and we should be working for that. But we also need to hang on to the promise of a time that is coming that will be better. If we only live for the kingdom of God now and there is little visible sign of its coming we become discouraged. We need the knowledge that it is not all about now, but partly about the not yet.
Paul says, 'If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.' 1 Corinthians 15:19. I believe in Jesus who brings hope upon hope!

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