Christ, Community, and Creativity (Part two)

Christ, Community, and Creativity (Part two) March 2, 2023


This is part two; read part one here.

Priesthood of all Believers

Does mono theology define community? The “priesthood of all believers” doctrine is vital to my Christian faith. All Christians have equal access to God through Jesus’ sanctifying blood and with the help of the Holy Spirit. Could the Spirit of God speak in many ways and be heard differently by every heart?

Unique Community

The doctrine of the priesthood of all believers states that no one needs an intermediary to meet with God. Each believer is the temple of God, where God’s Spirit intersects the spiritual and physical realms. Growing up it was conveyed in imagery and language, such as Jesus living in your heart. A beautiful simplification of the incarnational nature of Jesus through the Spirit and the Spirit directly speaking to your soul. It means constant contact and knowing that God is with you no matter where you are. Paul encourages us that we are not only focal points of heaven breaking into the world but also work as a community. The best name for this community is Church.  All of us, all believers everywhere, make up the fullness of Christ in the world. And where two or three gather, there is the presence and evidence of God.

Seeing Love

Not all beliefs should be considered valid. Just because someone holds an idea does not make it accurate. But even people who start with the Bible and earnestly pray for God’s guidance can find themselves with different beliefs. I do think there are core evangelical beliefs that must be agreed on. I also know that at times evangelicals have majored in the minor. Our vision can be more precise when we focus on living out Jesus’ command of loving God and loving our neighbors. Not that we will see and understand everything, but we will have a foundation (Jesus) to build on. 

The Christian life means being part of a community. The hallmark of being in a community with Jesus is your love for God and your neighbor. Jesus never declared they would know you by correct doctrine. No, He said you would be known by your love for one another.  We were made to do this together. To encourage one another. We need each other to live out God’s commands. 

New Creation Living

 God’s Spirit living in you opens the door to creative avenues. How? Well, you have access to the Fruit of the Spirit. God is living in you, bringing forth the harvest of love, joy, peace, and so on. But then God has also blessed you with Spiritual Gifts to encourage and build up the community of the Church. And finally, you have your personality, experiences, and talents unique to you and uniquely used by God. This is why it is so frustrating to think about how often we have narrowed the Christian experience to be solely concerned with life after death! It is much better to believe and live that eternal life begins now and continues into eternity.

 We are new creations, and we explode onto the scene. But we are also shaped and formed by the surrounding community – and given limitations or set free to soar. We can be challenged or put to sleep. And my experience,  the Church found that the easiest method to teach “new creation living” was to teach culturally relevant rules. But this left little room to teach listening (or walking by) for the Spirit. You could even be convinced that following the rules was just as good a result. A congregation concerned with keeping order delighted in rule followers. But order can also have a dulling effect on creativity. 

About Paul Tanner
Experienced Pastor has demonstrated a history of working in the religious institution industry, skilled in Nonprofit Organizations, Preaching, Singing, Youth Ministry, and Community Outreach. Strong professional with a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) focused in Pastoral Care from Logsdon School of Theology. Paul also has a podcast titled "The Unbroken Ground," which focuses on following Jesus. You can read more about the author here.

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