Saturday, November 12, 2011

What to Expect at Church

What follows is mostly a summary of direct quotations with an occasional paraphrase on my part.  The work belongs to Don Williams and is shared from his book, Jesus and Addiction - A Prescription to Transform the Dysfunctional Church and Recover Authentic Christianity, Recovery Publications, San Diego, 1993.  On pages 170-174, Williams describes the "Freedom in Community" that we should expect in a fellowship of Christ-followers.

I intend to share these eight values tomorrow morning in my message from John 1:1-5 that I've titled, "REBEGINNING - It's not to late to start over..."

"The values that form the core of God's family are liberating values"

1. We enjoy the authority of being adopted into God's family.  We belong and can never be alienated.

2. We find a new identify.  We are identified by our new Father and by our new brothers and sisters.  We are accepted and can never be rejected.

3. We have a new security.  As members of God's family, we have been given the keys to the entire kingdom.  We can never be locked out.  We can risk sharing our thoughts, our feelings, our stuff, and our lives because we are finally secure.

4.  We can live honestly by respecting each others thoughts and feelings.  We are free to know ourselves and each other.  There is no abusive control--no party line to parrot.

5.  We live together in a nurturing environment that is determined by love.  Love builds up!  It is emotional support under girded by tender-hearted kindness that seeks our benefit.

6.  God's family life includes discipline.  We are free from the old self-destructive chaos.  We are free to live responsibly.  We can and must speak the truth in love to each other while owning the impact of our words.

7.  We care for each others physical needs.  We are free to give.

8.  Rather than sick dependency, our family goal is to grow up into maturity.  This means achieving a healthy interdependency.

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