One of the series of posts we wanted to do over the summer is write in more detail about our FOUR CORE VALUES.
1. We want to be a community centered around Jesus according to the Scriptures.
2. We want to be a community where it is safe to talk about and work through anything.
3. We want to be a community where we show love and grace despite disagreements and differences.
4. We want to be a community where we love and serve the world instead of standing in condemnation of it.
One of these values that may seem odd or different is our value of being a community that is safe to talk about and work through anything.
In the following posts, we wanted to give some more space to further talk about this important idea. This is part one of a three part series.
What does this mean? Why is this a core value?
For us, this looks like three specific things.
We want to be a community where it is safe….
Let’s briefly take a look at each of these in their own post.
SAFE TO DOUBT AND QUESTION
There is this great little line in the book of Jude (v22) that goes “be merciful to those who doubt.” For faith to be real and authentic, there has to be space for doubting and questioning. What good is it to pretend to believe something that you actually question or doubt?
Jesus Center Church will always be a place where we point people to the truth of Scripture, while at the same time we welcome, honor and give space to those who disagree, doubt and question. So maybe you question the violent portraits of God in the Old Testament. Maybe you doubt God’s goodness in the midst of life. (So did the psalmist). Maybe there is a doctrine or Christian practice that you question. Maybe it’s something else. This is all ok and normal to the human experience.
This means that we are going to live in the messy middle of presenting as best we can the teachings of Scripture while at the same time allowing for honest and open dialogue as people have questions. Our Sunday gatherings will regularly give space for questions at the beginning of the gathering, as well as podcast episodes to go in more detail on issues, topics, and doubts people might be having. Our small groups will also give space to questioning and dialogue.
Now, this doesn’t mean we guarantee answers. But we do hope to provide responses and a safe space to learn and grow together. There is this really strange story about in the book of Genesis about Jacob wrestling this mysterious man in the middle of the night (Gen 32). This is a great picture of the Christian life.
When we recognize that questions are healthy and that when we are all learning together it fosters a warm and healthy environment that everyone can benefit from. The goal through all of this is for people to see the true beauty of Jesus. With Jesus at the center, we bring all our doubts, questions and struggles to Him, knowing he loves us no matter what. It's in the moments where we struggle and doubt that Jesus often does some of his best work.