are concerned, the Holy Spirit is a Person and an influence with both male and female attributes. And we refuse to go any further than that because we affirm the Bible as our only revelation.
Q. But doesn't the Holy Order have a very clear pronouncement on who or what the Holy Spirit is?
A. Yes, it does, but is doesn't make it public. We refuse to deal in speculation in public. It simply divides the Body of Christ and serves no-one's interests. We do not feel obliged to speculate further and so we don't. I know that may be frustrating for people hearing this interview but we must be true to our principles. And as far as NPKF is concerned, our only canonical, authoritative revelation is the Bible, and so we refuse to go any further.
Q. But that doesn't mean the issue is closed to you?
A. By no means. We have very definite ideas as to who the Holy Spirit is. But we do not believe knowing more than is revealed in the Bible is essential to a man's or woman's salvation.
Q. This would seem to distinguish you somewhat from orthodox Trinitarian ideas yet at the same time make you very close to them...
A. We are close to Trinitarian ideas. Orthodox Christians admit the Godhead question is a mystery. We believe we know a little more about this mystery than they do but we aren't going to make it an obstacle to our fellowship with them.
Q. So you have no problems fellowshipping with evangelicals on the basis of their beliefs about the Godhead?
A. Not really. If one probes too deep into the early creeds which they accept, then yes, we would have problems. But we are basically united with them about the Incarnation. We believe in the Virgin Birth like them. We reject the Mormon system entirely -- multiple gods and a literal act between the Virgin Mary and God the Father (whom you remember they believe is physical).
Q. But if I am not mistaken, you too believe God is physical, like the Mormons? You don't believe that God is a Spirit?
A. We do not believe that God is an exalted man, as the Mormons do. God is God -- He is unchanging, as is Christ (Heb.13:8). But we do believe that He has a corporeal form. He must do, since Jesus is resurrected! Jesus is God, and Jesus has a resurrected physical body. Therefore God has a resurrected physical body!
Q. But orthodox Christians maintain that the New Testament teaches that God is a spirit...?
A. Yes, they do, but they're wrong. They've mistranslated the scripture to fit in with their pre-conceived doctrine. You're referring, of course, to the apostle John who says that God is a spirit and must be worshipped in spirit and truth (John 4:24). But that's not what the original Greek says. The original says that God is spiritual and must be worshipped inwardly with our spirits. This passage says nothing about the final composition of God.
We don't say that God is physical. We do, however, say that He is tangible enough to be touched. Jacob wrestled with a tangible Being and got his hip dislocated in the process (Gen.32:24ff). The God Moses talked with in the Mount ate physical food. Physical bodies don't pass through walls, but resurrected bodies can and do. We know they do because Jesus did it (Luke 24:36), and yet His disciples touched Him. He told them He wasn't a spirit (v.38-40).
Q. But the implication of such a doctrine is surely that God the Father was resurrected Himself, as Jesus was, and was a man once, as Mormons claim.
A. My Bible doesn't say that. You're now interpreting beyond what is revealed. The tangible nature of God the Father's Body can be understood in many ways.
Q. So the Father and the Son have tangible bodies. That means they are two separate personages and therefore two Gods, doesn't it?
A. Who said so? No I, and certainly not the Bible. The Bible says that there is a Father and a Son, and that they are both tangible. It also says that there is only One God. What you're trying to say is that one Person equals one God. But that's just your human perception. God says that there is one God and several Persons. This is deep doctrine and far beyond what NPKF teaches. Therefore I won't go any further.
Q. Mormons say that the Father is called Elohim and that the Son is called Jehovah. What do you say?
A. I say what the Bible says. Both the Father and the Son are called Elohim, and both the Father and the Son are called Jehovah, or Yahweh. Mormons try to divide the Father and Son up into categories that fit their pre-conceived doctrines. The Jehovah's Witnesses do the same -- they utterly refuse to accept the Scriptures which say the Son is Jehovah too. They are both dishonest.
Q. So you are Trinitarian in that respect?
A. The Trinitarians say the same as we do as far as the Names of God are concerned. All of them are interchangeable with the Father and the Son...as one would expect if both are God. So, yes, they're absolutely right.
Q. We have spent a long time on the Godhead...
A. ...and I would say worthwhile time too because our understanding of God defines very clearly what we believe and who we are. For Mormons Jesus was just an "elder brother"; for us, and evangelical Christians, Jesus was always God (John 1:1). He is a "brother" only in the sense that He became human and identified with us, but He has always been God.
Q. The New Covenant Church seems to be in transition all the time. Where is it heading? How will it differ in the future from what it is now?
A. Yes, we are in dynamic change. Recently we were visited by an ex-member of the Independent Church whom we hadn't seen for several years who, though he hasn't joined any other church, still clings on to much Independent Church thought. We were, I think, surprised by how different we were now. There he was coming out of a Latter Day Saint premiss and us out of an evangelical one. We occupied two totally different worlds. However, the main difference was that we could see and understand his position all too clearly, but ours was incomprehensible to him. Because he had detached himself from the stream of events he could not comprehend us.
Were someone to leave the Church now and return in three or four years time I suspect he might be quite surprised. We are indeed in transition. Though our doctrines will likely be much the same in a few years' time, we ourselves will certainly change and also what we will be doing.
Q. You are presumably referring to the gathering to Zion?
A. Yes. And it's here that we fundamentally differ from evangelical Christians who believe in adopting the surrounding culture inasmuch as it does not come up against the teachings of the New Testament.
For New Covenant Christians the Old Testament is equally as important as the New. We do not see the Old Testament merely as a set of pointers to the Messiah but as containing the blueprint for the ideal theocratic society.
Q. You don't mean that you are going to take the New Covenant back in time to an ancient way of life much as the Muslims in Iran have done?
A. Yes, and no. No, we are not going to abandon science and technology and live as people did in the Middle Ages, neither are we going to reduce women to chattels. We believe in science and progress in the material sphere. Yes, we are returning to the ancient theocratic system.
Q. Does that mean you will practice capital punishment and mutilate offenders of the Law as fundamentalist Muslim countries do?
A. Again, you have misunderstood. We are not returning to the Old Covenant. We are New Covenant Christians, not Old Covenant ones. The latter is an impossibility. We would have to revert to becoming Mosaic Jews!
Jesus reformed the Old Covenant, abolished all the Old Testament ritualistic types that pointed to Him (such as animal sacrifice and circumcision), tightened up the moral law, and taught forgiveness of sins conditional upon true repentance. The "eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth" law went out with the Mosaic dispensation. We have absolutely no intention of chopping off the hands of thieves or stoning murderers and adulterers to death!! God forbid! We have left the shadow of the truth behind and moved on to the fullness.
Q. I still don't see, then, what it is in the Old Testament that you intend to adopt, beyond the Moral Law as exemplified in the Ten Commandments...
A. The system of government for one. Most churches are governed by synods or boards which democratically vote and make decisions about their churches. We are steered by a system of judges such as characterised the old Tribal Confederacy before Israel became a monarchy.
Q. But isn't the Davidic monarchy viewed as the ideal?
A. With Jesus as King, yes, but not as mortal men. We are a monarchy but our monarch is not a mortal. Our King is Jesus Christ. The government of men in the New Covenant is by judges or patriarchs and apostles. Just as Moses was obliged to delegate authority to judge minor matters to others, so Christ the King delegates authority to His judges.
Q. Is there no democratic process, then?
A. If by "democratic" you mean a majority vote of the people as in western democracy, then the answer is no. But let's first distinguish between Zion -- which are New Covenant Christian communities -- and the outer NPKF's. The NPKF is governed by a Council of Elders consisting of all NPKF elders and pastors (who are also elders). The apostle responsible for NPKFs presides over this council. The council is three-tiered with the presiding apostle as chairman, a quorum of pastors beneath him, and a quorum of elders beneath the pastors. Decisions reached by the presiding apostle (who must get approval from the whole quorum of the 12 apostles) must be confirmed by the democratic vote of the quorum of pastors. Their decision must then be confirmed by the democratic vote of the quorum of elders. A majority of two-thirds must be obtained.
Q. This sounds remarkably similar to the kind of democracy which steers most evangelical churches, minus the apostles.
A. Yes it is, but then we're talking about the outer Church here -- the NPKF's. The Holy Order -- the New Covenant Christian communities (also called firstborn communities) have quite a different form of government. We call this Patriarchal. This I have explained elsewhere in NPKF publications but will summarise it again.
The Holy Order is governed by judges who form two quorums of 12 patriarchs and 12 matriarchs. Each quorum is presided over by a patriarch and a matriarch, respectively. The Presiding Patriarch is the final authority. All decisions must be unanimous. (This is the ideal in NPKF's too but rarely happens).
Q. So all the decision-making is made by these judges?
Q. What about NPKF's? Don't the congregations have any democratic decision-making powers?
A. Yes, they do. Pastors are selected by the apostles once a year. The congregation have the right to reject any pastor called. The apostles select elders to assist them, and the Pastor calls various persons to congregational offices. If the Pastor is rejected by a congregation then the local apostle must select a new Pastor.
Q. Do the congregations have any say in the selection of apostles?
A. No. This is done by the Holy Order.
Q. This would then seem very different from evangelical church democracy. Are there any similarities with the Restoration tradition?
A. A few. In the Mormon church democracy is present but it is a sham. People are entitled to vote against the selection of a local church officer. In practice if they do they are taken aside and sternly warned that they are failing to sustain the church leaders and are apostate.
The Reorganized Church is much more democratic in that sense -- too democratic in our view. The congregation selects their Pastor themselves...
Q. A bit like evangelicals...
A. Yes. Interestingly, the New Testament teaches that it was the apostles who selected pastors. But since evangelicals don't have apostles they must find alternative selection procedures.
So there are some similarities with the Restoration church system, but those similarities are limited.
Q. Now you have said that there are other aspects of Hebrew culture which the New Covenant Church seeks to imitate. What might those be? Would marriages we arranged, for example?
A. Marriages are not decided by parents but parents have the right to give advice and children are expected to respect that advice. Young adults are, however, expected to make the final decision themselves.
We do not believe in traditional courting either. This I have explained in detail elsewhere. We do not believe in "going steady" until there is proper spiritual development. As you know, we have three stages in marriage -- dedication, betrothal, and full marriage. We will not marry couples who are not active disciples in the Gospel and who do not truly know each other. I am, of course, talking about Holy Order practices. In a Christian community such as the Order is, everyone knows each other pretty well since all work together cooperatively. This is of enormous help in ensuring that the right marriage partners are selected.
Q. If young people refuse to follow the Order's pattern, are they forbidden to marry?
A. Absolutely not! The Bible expressly forbids anyone to forbid marriage! They are free to marry who ever they want and whenever they want. If the Holy Order does not approve a marriage then they are free to marry in the outer NPKF. If their morality is lacking the NPKF pastor can refuse to marry them too, in which case they are free to be married in another church or in a civil setting.
Q. Would those who marry outside the Order or the NPKF be shunned by the members?
A. They would not be entitled to be members of the Order but would be received by the NPKFs. Since members of the Order are also members of the NPKF it follows that as human beings the couples would be received in love. We don't turn our backs on people just because they don't follow our ways! Every soul is precious, every soul is of great worth in the sight of God, no matter what their decisions.
Every society has rules, however, religious or secular, and those who don't obey the rules obviously can't enjoy all the privileges of those who do. That's a fact of life everywhere.
Q. So such a couple would be treated like a couple who were already married joining the Church?
A. Exactly. We have people coming to NPKF who have very difficult marriages indeed. We minister to them. Similarly, someone refusing the follow the Order's marriage pattern who married, say, in a Baptist Church, but who continued to come to NPKF meetings would be received with open arms. Marriage is a binding decision recognised by God. We accept all marriages.
Q. Including homosexual ones?
A. No, of course not. There's no such thing in God's eyes and neither in ours.
Q. Are there any other practices which you have in common with Hebrew culture?
A. Yes, the laws of ownership, for example. In the Holy Order all things are held in common. This was the New Testament practice. Few Christians practice it today. This we call the United Order. I know of no other churches who practice all things in common.
Q. We hear stories in the media of cults that take the money of gullible members -- sometimes whole fortunes. When they get disillusioned, they go away penniless. Could such a thing happen in the Holy Order?
A. No, it couldn't. What the cults do is outright robbery. Those who come to the Holy Order and live the United Order by consecrating all their wealth and possessions to the Order are entitled to take it with them if they choose to leave the Order. Anything else would amount to robbery. An individual or family entering the Order would register their property and wealth when coming into the Order. If they choose to leave it, they have the legal right to take what they brought.
Q. Do you mean they sign legal contracts?
A. Where such laws exist in countries that is the practice. The new members deed all their property and wealth to the Order which it is entitled to dispose of it as it sees fit. The Order, in its turn, covenants to return the same back if the family leaves, in money or in kind, and according to its present value.
Q. Isn't that quite complicated what with inflation, wear-and-tear, and such things?
A. With good will on both sides this can be sorted out. But you know, we are careful in choosing the people who are allowed to join the Order. Not anybody can come along and join. We are seeking for honest, honourable, hard-working, thrifty and decent people. Doubters and the like never gain admission to the Order.
Q. But even if you find perfect, or near-perfect people, you can never know how they're going to turn out?
A. That is true, and that's why we sign contracts with them when they join, guaranteeing them financial security if they leave. Our hope is, after all, that if they leave the Order they will continue to be active in the NPKFs. They are still a part of the brotherhood -- still cherished family members.
Q. But some may leave the Order and the NPKF, mightn't they?
A. They might, but we think that unlikely. Since the New Covenant Church of God was organised in 1992 we have lost some from the Order but they have continued active and faithful in the NPKFs. If people leave the Order, they usually leave of their own free will. There have never been quarrels or unpleasant exchanges of any kind. People understand the rules and accept the consequences of breaking them if they do.
Q. The whole concept of an "order" -- if I can change the subject for a minute -- is very new to most Christians. It sounds rigid, almost monastical. What is the truth of the matter?
A. The idea of an "order" or "discipline" is as Christian as Christian can be! In the New International Version of the Bible the writer of Hebrews compares the Old Covenant with the New and describes the New Covenant as a "new Order" (Heb.9:10). I realise that in our liberal, democratic world the whole idea of an "order" smacks of totalitarianism or rigid Catholic monasticism. And as a result western Protestant Christianity has become incredibly watered down. Why, the whole concept of the "New Testament" is incredibly "orderly", if you will. A "testament" is a will or a legality made valid by the blood of Christ. The Old Testament was sealed or ratified by God's Word, but the New Testament by the Son of God's blood.
Our liberal world is uncomfortable with the idea of an "order" or a "discipline" but that's exactly what the New Covenant is. As John Bunyan so brilliantly illustrated in his book, Pilgrim's Progress, the Heavenly Jerusalem is not simply obtained by accepting the cross of Christ but by thereafter walking a path or a way. This I have talked about before.
Q. You mean that accepting Christ as Saviour is just the first step in the path to exaltation?
A. Yes. There are many who accept the cross who do not make it because they turn back when difficulties assail them. The cross is indispensable, of course, because it is the cross that releases us from the guilt of our sins -- sins which Christ paid for. But the carnal man is not overcome with the acceptance of Christ's free salvation. That salvation has to be put to work.
Q. How does one "put salvation to work"?
A. Let me give you an illustration. Let's say that I want to go to the moon. I can't get there by wishful thinking or getting my car out the garage. The only way to get to the moon is by spaceship. There is an enormous gulf between the earth and the moon which earth-bound vehicles cannot bridge.
Our human powers are like those earth-bound vehicles -- cars, bicycles, trains, etc.. Jesus is the spaceship. Accepting the free salvation of Christ is to receive the bridge that links us to God. But I have got to fly that spaceship to the moon. It's no use receiving the spaceship and just sitting there on the launching pad or putting it on display in my garden as so many Christians do. That gospel spaceship has got to be launched into a life of active discipleship and meet hardships, dangers, frustrations, and occasionally failures.
Q. That's a most unusual analogy...
A. Jesus illustrated it in a far better way. He said that the Kingdom of Heaven was like a pinch of yeast put into dough. If you let the yeast sit in cold dough, nothing happens. The dough has got to be heated up and the yeast allowed to permeate the whole loaf. When we receive Christ's free gift of salvation, it has still to permeate our whole soul. In the New Testament this principle is called sanctification. Jesus chose this illustration deliberately to confound many of the modern notions of "once saved, always saved." That's nonsense. If He had wanted to convey such an idea He would have chosen a different parable.
Q. Such as?
A. Perhaps He would have said that the Kingdom of Heaven was like the instant transformation of water into wine...
Q. The miracle at Cana, you mean?
A. Yes, something like that. Things of any value are rarely instant. I can buy my daughter a horse but that won't automatically enable her to ride. Yet without the horse the idea of riding is just a dream. Taking Christ "on board", as it were, is an incredible phenomenon. It's like moving a society out of the bronze age into the nuclear age. Considerable re-adjustment needs to take place. There's alot of learning to be done, alot of re-adjusting in our lives, if we are to become perfectly like Christ, as He has commanded us to be (Matt.5:48; 19:21).
John Bunyan saw clearly that salvation can be lost. There were many who received the cross who later abandoned the Way. They failed to understand that the cross is a Way of Suffering as well as joy. And the great majority of Christians don't want that. Why do you think that Jesus said that the Way was narrow and hard to find? He said that few would find it (Matt.7:13-14). Yet many have received the cross...
Q. That is quite a sobering thought. It puts quite a different perspective on the Gospel...
A. Throughout the centuries different stresses have been laid on the Christian life. We are still, unfortunately, in that wave of modern, liberalistic thought which says that nothing has to be done to be saved....nothing has to be done to get to heaven save receive Jesus in your heart as Saviour. Though many churches are now moving away from this idea, it's still there...it hangs on just like the Mosaic Law hung on in the Jewish congregations in the early Christian Church.
I subscribe to a monthly Christian study guide which is generally quite excellent but it does contain some absurd contradictions, such as the one we're talking about. Churches get hung up on man-made doctrines and traditions which they're reluctant to part with. They are too afraid to "break" with these lest they be seen to be leaving the denomination or "dividing the Body of Christ". The irony is that false doctrine divides the Body of Christ anyway.
Q. Do you believe that Christendom will follow the New Covenant Church's teachings eventually?
A. Those that are absolutely true, inevitably -- they'll probably discover them for themselves, though I hope we will be a catalyst in that process. The truth bears witness of itself -- all honest seekers after truth will eventually stumble upon it.
Q. You said, "those that are absolutely true" -- do you believe that some of your teachings are untrue?
A. The truth is always unfolding itself -- as one hymn says, "The Lord has yet more light and truth to break forth from Him Word." No, of course, we don't believe we are teaching untruths, but we fully accept that much of what we teach is only partially understood. We "see through a glass darkly" -- not all things are clear (1 Cor.13:12). And not all things will be revealed in this life.
You know, we have spoken much of doctrines this evening but the Gospel is more than just teachings. It is life itself -- life in Christ (John 14:6). And because life is as varied and as wonderful as all the varied personalities that make up the Church it will always be in flux.
Q. Do you mean by that that the Gospel can never be fully expressed in words?
A. Exactly. Think what an anticlimax life would be if, for example, someone could write everything down in one large book. The mystery of life cannot be found in a book. It can only be found in living. We in the New Covenant have a great deal of literature, far more than any other church in proportion to our size. It's been a great blessing to many, I am sure, but it is not the Gospel itself. The New Covenant can never be understood by being read about, no more than the Saviour Himself can. Our writings are rather like a photograph album containing glimpses of life. But they are not the life itself.
Q. I have heard some of your people express the opinion that too much has been said and too little done. What do you say to that?
A. Every human being sees life through his own spiritual and experiential lenses. Everybody's experiences are different to one degree or another. Everybody's needs are slightly different too. We all see different faults in each other and different strong points. No two imperfect people can ever have identical needs or perceive problems in exactly the same way, no matter how united they are in other areas. I also think there's a danger of playing with words. Isn't speaking action? Are we not "saved by the foolishness of preaching" (1 Cor.1:2)? Isn't teaching one of the great commissions (Matt.28:19)? Doesn't Luke say that Jesus both "did" and "preached" (Acts 1:1)? We do see balances differently, and for now we must be satisfied with our own consciences (2 Cor.4:2; 1 Tim.1:5).
Q. But aren't we supposed to see eye-to-eye?
A. n the essentials, yes, we are. This is a hard question. There is no doubt that God the Father and Christ are one in everything -- so united are they that Christ was able to perfectly obey His Father in everything without compromising His individuality.
Q. That is hard for me to understand. Are you saying that the Father and Son are different personalities? If they are, then surely there wouldn't be uniformity in the Creation?
A. One of the arguments of monarchistic modalism that we talked about earlier rests on this sort of question. God is One Person but has different aspects. The early Mormons -- before they abandoned Trinitarianism -- believed that God the Father is the Spirit and that God the Son is the flesh.
Q. So that when Christ was praying in Gethsemane, it was His flesh talking to His Spirit???
A. Something like that. You know, the orthodox Trinitarians have had the same kind of problems -- was Jesus just talking to Himself? The occultists try to solve the problem by saying that Jesus the man and Christ the deity were two different things. They say that we have a Christ centre and a natural centre and that what we must do is realise the Christ in ourselves -- become Christ indeed, the same way that Jesus did.
Q. But that would make for many christs...
A. And many gods. They believe everyone is God and everyone is Christ. It's a mass of confusion.
Q. Some would say that Christians make the Godhead issue needlessly complicated by insisting that Jesus was God. It would be easier if there was just one Being.
A. If Jesus is not God, then Christianity is meaningless. If He is not God then we should all become Jews and live under the Old Covenant (1 Cor.15:14). The one great sublime truth of Christianity, which is incomparable with any other reason, is that God entered human flesh by becoming a man in order to reconcile man to Himself, and vice versa. The details of this action have been debated for two thousand years and we will probably never understand it in this life.
I have believed many Godhood doctrines in my life but none of them has altered my personal relationship with Him. However we may try to conceive Him in pictures or words He will still act on the human heart in basically the same way. Hundreds of thousands have been born anew and experienced the all-transforming power of the living Christ. It's a fact. Most couldn't explain the mechanism to you and of these most wouldn't want to try. God is so great that I have given up trying to picture Him in my finite mind.
Q. How do you see Him?
A. I can't give you one single picture. I can't sit down and write a credal statement. I've tried it, and failed. God is like a giant jigsaw puzzle. I have found many of the pieces and even though I can't get them all to fit I know that one day they will.
Q. Can you give an illustration?
A. That's the problem, isn't it? We try to illustrate something that is beyond complete or final expression. Even my best friend couldn't describe the full "me" to you -- we, who are finite mortal beings -- are that complex. So how much more complex is God?
I could give you a long list of words. I could cite various doctrinal creeds. I was once attracted to the Mormon idea that God was Three separate individuals -- three Gods -- because it gave me a mental and visual handle. But I found this fundamentally lacking -- an over-simplification. I have to agree basically with the Trinitarians in some matters -- God is so absolutely One that He can't be separated and yet He is three also. Three-in-one. I was repulsed by this doctrine for a long time because my scientific mind couldn't get a grip on it. But I feel more comfortable with it now.
Is He all male? I once thought so but I don't now. The Holy Spirit is often characterised as female in the Bible -- it's just undeniable (Prov.1:20-21, etc.). But "it" is also male. Many Christians insist that God is male but that he "contains" the fullness of female virtue too. I think there's some truth in this but I don't go along with the idea of an androgenous "Father-Mother God" because the Bible doesn't describe Him as such either. He is male, just as Christ was. Jesus was a human male and, by His own testimony, is the exact representation of the Father. He told Philip that whoever had seen Him had seen the Father too.
But you know we can go around in circles of endless speculation on this subject. The point I am making is that we as New Covenant Christians are open for more light and truth on the subject which we believe will perfectly harmonise what the existing Biblical record says.
Q. So you wouldn't ever maintain that God is a Father and a Mother?
A. I have my own thoughts but as I've said before I think it unwise to say more.
Q. Let's change the subject. The New Covenant Church believes it has a special mission. Do you believe it is the blueprint of the true Christian Church?
A. If by that do you mean that every kind of personality could thrive among us I would have so answer no. At least not now. Look, I don't know what this Church will be like in 10 or even a 100 years, if it survives that long. It may be unrecognizable. I cannot limit God by dictating what this Church is and what it will become. It's like a river. It's direction can be changed but it can't stop -- and I can't make it turn around and go back up the mountain again. No-one can.
I suspect that one day we will see just how poor our present vision is. We may well even hang our heads in shame for being so arrogant in our self-certainty. The wiser you get the less you realise you in fact know. And the wiser you get the more tolerant you become of others' misunderstandings and ignorance. The zeal of spiritual youth can be blinding -- young people think they know it all. And even if they're a little humble they still think they know almost all of it.
Q. Sometimes you speak with great certainty on a subject and sometimes with great doubt...?
A. That is the only way to grow. I am certain so long as there are no facts to contradict what I believe. But I also know there is more so I leave plenty of room for healthy doubt. I must never become so smug as to believe I have the whole equation of truth wrapped up. I haven't. If I did, I would no longer live by faith because I wouldn't need it. Then I would cease to be justified and my walk in this mortal sphere would be meaningless.
I realise this is of little comfort to those who want everything neatly wrapped in one big doctrinal package. I wanted it that way once. People want certainty. Well, I believe we have all the certainties we need to make this life successful. Once I wanted a prophetic vision of the future. Now I see what a hell it would be to know what was coming and what an inhibition it would be to live. We would simply cringe in fear and never do anything. We would be paralysed by the certitude of our own fallibility and errors.
This life is a journey, and like all journeys on the horizontal plane, we can't see further than the horizon. Not until we have reached the heavenly city will the horizon disappear and will we be able to see all things. Meanwhile there is much to experience on the Way. It is enough to live, and to live victoriously in the certain knowledge that God Almighty knows everything, has mapped our course, and has made provision for all our mistakes through the blood of Christ Jesus.
This is one New Covenant Christian's view. No doubt other New Covenant Christians will have their own stories to tell.
"Nye Pakts Kristne Felleskap" or "New Covenant Christian Fellowship", the local congregations as they were called from 1992-6. Today they are simply known as "local colonies". See Bible & Creed for an up-to-date statement on Church organisation and structure. Return to main text
This page was created on 18 May 1997
Last updated on 13 February 1998
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