Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Some things are written in blood

This personal narrative from Keith Drury is an excellent illustration of the deconstruction and subsequent rebuilding of one's faith, especially when it comes to youth ministry. To use educational language from Bloom's Taxonomy, this is the analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of the Christian faith on a personal level.
The first time I met the creeds was when several faithful professors at Princeton tossed them my way as a rope to a drowning student. I had erased most of the pencil work I was raised with. I had inked out much of my denomination’s doctrine. And now I was faced with reading people who didn’t even believe the core issues of the Christian faith. What could I believe? I took hold of the creeds—the Nicene but especially the Apostle’s creed—and hung on. Credo. I believe. The creed for me was not pencil work of earlier generations—their preferences, or lifestyle convictions. Neither were the creeds written in ink—merely the doctrinal positions of one particular denomination. The creeds were written in blood—they are life and death issues for the Christian church.
I recall thinking I knew everything there was to know about God and Scripture upon graduating from high school. I knew that cussing and drinking were inherently wrong and sinful, period. I knew that the Bible was a comprehensive list of truth, a manual for being good. I knew that God had created the universe in six 24-hour periods and that evolution and science were all completely wrong.

Then I had my first Bible college class and it all went out the window. I didn't know how much I truly didn't know.

Now over six years later, I'm still processing what I fully believe. I've erased a lot of pencil marks, added new ones, and learned a lot about the ink of various doctrines. Yet through it all, I understand Drury's language of pencil and ink and blood. Some things are written in blood. Those are the things I want to live and die for. And as a pastor to junior high students, these are the things I want to pass on to them.

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