A LETTER TO
THE NEW COVENANT
If there's one thing I like and admire about the New Covenant Church it's that it doesn't run away from difficult questions or embarrassing scriptures which appear to be disjunctive with the rest. New Covenant Christians face them squarely even if the consequences are sometimes embarrassing for the rest of us Christians. Tradition means nothing to them, only the raw truth. Most commentators, when faced with what they suppose are incongruent scriptures, either ignore, "reinterpret", delete, or "demythologise" them, or else twist them to fit into their pre-conceived doctrines. Even if we don't sometimes like New Covenant conclusions, we respect them for their honesty.
Those disturbing scriptures -- the ones that don't apparently "fit" long cherished doctrinal propositions or articles of faith -- are the ones, it would seem, we mustn't ignore, because more likely than not, it's those "difficult" passages that contain great keys of light, truths that overturn the speculative theologies of the centuries.
The New Covenant seems to have a nack for digging out these passages, stripping them naked, and letting them take the conductor's rôle in ordering up all the rest, without making the latter disjunctive in turn. They make the traditionalists furious, overturning centuries of deeply-entrenched hostily through careful exegesis of the Bible teaching about the theomorphic nature of man, the eternity of marriage, the literalness of the promises made to the Jews in the Christian dispensation, the marital status of Christ, the multi-faceted nature of salvation, the pre-mortal spiritual life of mankind, the economic communism of believers, patriarchal values, the rôle the the Ten Tribes, the open Bible canon (though limiting themselves for the sake of their "weaker brothers"), Christian temple worship, a resurrected apostolic and prophetic tradition, a daring restoration of the practice of writing "new scriptures", an openness to the homosexual community without compromising Biblical truth, tolerance of diverse Christian opinions in firmness but charity, the priestly rôle of men and women -- equal but different, a belief in -- but firm control over -- the "louder" spiritual gifts, a willingness to be challenged in public, a fearlessness of the truth to the extent of being willing to "stick their necks out", and much more.
Little wonder that they are a small church -- it is so potent, so much so that I marvel that anyone joins them at all! Yet that's exactly what the first Christians were like. Their time will come when, as they predict, society will start collapsing and honest people begin seeking secure anchors in their lives. They will see what the New Covenant has. It takes a special sort of person to become a part of their church when all around there is affluence and a dilution of Biblical values. But I really believe they'll make it.
This page was created on 21 May 1998
Last updated on 21 May 1998
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