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Friday, 14 December 2012

Restoration Legacy 3

Two more:
  • discipleship - when breaking new ground or re-digging old wells, as the restoration movement did, you make mistakes. But you also discover treasure. And if we react to the mistakes we can miss the treasure. Discipleship - being accountable to one another and being open to have brothers and sisters confront and challenge you and 'speak into your life' - was an antidote to the independence and individualism that dogged the evangelical world and especially the pentecostal-charismatic church. I still believe that discipleship is absolutely central to community life and personal maturity, but I find now that I think of it as much less about addressing people's weaknesses and more about drawing out people's strengths. 
  • authority - this was the one people reacted against most! For me, it is still vitally important and again challenges the independence in much of the church, where 'everyone does as he sees fit.' However, as I have argued repeatedly on this blog I feel that we did not realise sufficiently the countercultural nature of authority in the different kingdom. We copied the hierarchical type of authority in the world and it inevitably at times became heavy-handed and abusive, opening the way for bullies and autocrats. Those in authority must always be able to be challenged and appealed to, and authority is given to empower and liberate others.It should rarely have to be asserted; our freely chosen submission to authority is the real issue - glad submission to spiritual leadership that we see the grace and anointing of God upon. Now that's a treasure that many people still miss.

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