In my last post, I mentioned a special gathering of some of our more mature as well as younger leaders, within Global Horizons, gathering together for discussion and prayer. In the discussions, we talked about some of the ‘non-negotiables’ that have become near and dear to our hearts. Not in any sense of wanting to break fellowship with others who might not hold to these things, but those foundation stones, even revelations, that the Lord has shown as dear to his own heart.
Of course, there is already a sense of the importance of the essentials of the faith, centred in Christ and the gospel, his death and resurrection. But these points came forth as part of the charismatic restoration movement of the 1960’s and 1970’s. These became so very important, as we understood them as important to Christ himself.
So I list them here. They are in no particular order and some of them repeat somewhat. But these stand as non-negotiable foundation stones of Christ, the cornerstone, and the apostolic-prophetic foundation that has been and is being laid (Eph 2:19-22).
- Kingdom rule of God – Jesus preached it
- Loving people – all types of people
- Church as local expression of the kingdom of God
- Servant leadership – rather than hierarchical
- Integration/combination of word and Spirit
- Fresh breath of the Spirit
- Fruit and gifts of the Spirit
- Participation in the church as the church – rather than simply attending
- Church as family-relational, authentic
- Whole redemptive aspects of Christ – faith, repentance, water baptism, Spirit baptism
- Water baptism & Spirit baptism
- Apostolic (mission-minded) nature of the church
- Call to the nations
- Partnership with local churches in the nations – rather than ‘taking over’ from the west
- Not ashamed of the gospel
- Compassion for the poor
- Micah 6:8 – seek justice, love kindness, walk humbly with your God
- Church is whole life
- Relationship with God
- Sacraments – Lord’s supper, water baptism
- Infallibility, authority, centrality of Scripture
- Call of God to ministry, but not with clergy/laity distinction
- Making disciples
- Eph 4:11 gifts of the ascended Christ still needed
We ended the discussion by reflecting on Jeremiah 6:16:
Stand at the crossroads and look;
ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
and you will find rest for your souls.
These points above have become part of the ancient, well-worn paths of our churches and leader-ministries for the past half century. They are part of our DNA. What is hard to imagine is that some of our leaders suffered not too long ago for taking a stand for many of these things – even excommunication and persecution (though not physical persecution).
But these are right. These are of Christ. These are of the apostolic and prophetic church being built by Christ himself. I am, myself, excited to have been entrusted to get some kind of glimpse of these all-important truths. My great desire is to see these continually passed on to the body of Christ today and tomorrow.