This blog is my answer to the above questions: This is an addition (unplanned) to a previous blog (“Beliefs, Faith, Application”). As a former chemical engineer, I like to categorize, to label things. So how do I label myself?
Labels can be ambiguous since different people can have the different meanings for the same words. Therefore, I explain below (along with my purpose, as currently revealed by the Spirit) for each “label” area. These labels that I have given myself have changed as I reflect more deeply on where God is leading me. This latest version results from reflections triggered by our Tantur course, especially week 10 (Ecumenical Week) and week 12 (Retreat). I fully expect them to change in the future as God teaches me new stuff through other people and other circumstances.
I noticed that I cannot be single-labelled. I act differently in differing situations or with differing objectives. What I like to think is that I take the best and dump the rest. The above is the way I like to act. I can’t say I act this way all the time. But I try to be this way most of the time. I am still a work in progress as God is still chiseling away at my rough edges,
From a political standpoint, I am theocratic with only a divine ruler. …. (1Tim6:15, Psalm145:13, Acts5:29) Theocracy means governed by God. God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) is my sole ruler. To the extent, that pastors, other spiritual leaders and civic leaders follow God, I will follow them. But when they deviate, I will follow God only … My purpose is to follow His orders to build His Kingdom on earth His way.
From an economic standpoint, I am socialistic without totalitarianism. …. (Acts 2:44-45, 2John 3:17, Isaiah 10:1) Socialistic to me means to “love my neighbor as myself” and acting for the common good. Being socialistic without God leads to dictatorship and totalitarianism (which is the failure of communism and socialism) … My purpose is to help my neighbors practically while pointing to Jesus spiritually.
From a responsibility standpoint, I am capitalistic without the greed …. (2Thessalonians 3:10-12; 1Timothy 5:5-8, 6:10) Capitalistic to me means social/economic advancement opportunities as well as “unwilling to work, don’t eat”. Being capitalistic without God leads to unchecked greed and hopeless poverty (which is the failure of capitalism, resulting in greed-based inequities) … My purpose is to financially assist (as directed by the Holy Spirit) Kingdom workers who cannot help themselves.
From a societal standpoint, I am progressive without paternalism. …. (Proverbs 31:8-9, Ezekiel 16:46) Progressive to me means to incremental social justice and/or social reform… to progress towards God’s Kingdom here on earth. But people are adults; I am not going to force my ideas on them, even if I think they are wrong. I will gently and kindly let them know my viewpoint and whether I will participate. I will not stop them from reaping the consequences of their decisions. But I will intervene to prevent direct harm to the innocent, defenseless and powerless… My purpose is to stand firm for His righteousness in the way He directs.
From a Christian standpoint, I am ecumenical with complete obedience to Jesus. …. (Galatians 3:28, 1John 4:21) Ecumenical means that all parts of the Church of Jesus Christ (differing traditions and/or denominations) are working together to advance His Kingdom here on earth now. My earlier blog (“Beliefs, Faith, Application”) elaborates on this more clearly … My purpose is to love (with actions, not just words) my brothers and sisters in Christ and to work joyfully with them to implement His will.
With everyone, I should be tolerant based on the love of Christ. …. (Colossians 3:13, Philippians 2:3, James 1:19, 1Peter 2:21) I am to bear with each other. Value and love them because God values and loves. Forgive them because God forgave them. Listen to them. Be very slow to get angry. I can be tolerant even if they are not. I do not have to agree with them but I can decide to be tolerant of them … My purpose is to reflect Jesus to others in the way I live.
With everything, I should be a good steward based on God’s guidance. …. (Matthew 25:20-21, 1Peter 4:10, Matthew 6:19) I am to be a good steward, taking care of the people and the things that He entrusted me with, and utilizing them to advance His Kingdom on earth today. … My purpose is to remember nothing is mine and everything is His and to live for eternity.
Written by Ray 2012-11-30