"Don't Worry, Be happy"But why?
by Malcolm Cox
I saw this sign on a recent prayer walk. I appreciate someone taking the time to paint the sign, take it to this spot and fix it to the gate post. It brought to mind Bobby McFerrin's hit from the late '80s, "Don't worry, be happy". All very well, but on what grounds?It’s all about our view of God. As Tozer said, “What comes into our mind when we think about God is the most important thing about us…. Were we able to extract from any man a complete answer to the question, “What comes into your mind when you think about God?” we might predict with certainty the spiritual future of that man.” A. W. Tozer If our view of God as father is the same as the view of the father Jesus loved, trusted and obeyed, then we have no reason to worry and every reason to be happy. Julian of Norwich said, “What God most wants is to see you smile because you know how much God loves you.” We cannot smile in this way unless we are fully convinced God loves us unconditionally. I am convinced God is causing me to focus on adjusting my view of God as father to one more in line with the way Jesus saw and experienced him. What resources have you used to refine your relationship with father God? At the moment I am using this book:
- Think through the main influences on your view of God as father
- Compare those perspectives with those of Jesus
- Which views are confirmed and which challenged?
AIM UK & Ireland Christian Doctrine Module
Christian doctrine is an exploration of the way God intends us to relate to him, one another and the world. It isn’t a dry or difficult topic but an exciting and dynamic one. What could be more important? Not only that, but the consequences of teaching and living by erroneous doctrine are serious, “Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.” (1 Timothy 4:16) We, like those of Paul’s day, live in a time when “people will not put up with sound doctrine.” (2 Timothy 4:3) What is our responsibility? “You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine.” (Titus 2:1) See also 1 Timothy 1:3. Teaching what is accurate will enable us to, “encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.” (Titus 1:9) In this module we will examine common Christian doctrines held by various denominations with three aims: ● To discover their value - even if they differ from our understanding ● To discover any errors - and evaluating whether or not those errors are significant ● To discover how they help us to be confident about what we believe and thus equipped to teach others We are not looking to point out faults in other groups with a view to judging them. We have enough challenges of our own attempting to review and refine what we teach to ensure its accuracy and relevance. On the other hand, we will hold up the doctrines of other denominations to the light of Scripture as an aid to help us learn, grow and please God.Who is this for? Anyone who wants to learn. That includes men, women, the old and young (physically and spiritually), members of the churches of Christ or not, leaders or not. I have been teaching some of this material for going on 40 years and I am still learning.The topics to be covered:– What is Doctrine? It is both more and less than you might expect. – Odd Doctrines of the 1st–2nd centuries. Many of the colourful developments in Christendom aren’t exactly new. – Catholicism & Orthodoxy. What do Catholics believe? How about their close cousins, the Orthodox? What happened to church in the Middle Ages? – Protestantism. Why was Protestant reaction so strong? Should everyone be a protestant? – Calvinism/Open Theism. If God knows the future, do we really have any choice as to whether we serve him? Or maybe God doesn’t know what will happen in the future (?) – Fundamentalism. We want and need to take the Bible seriously. Do we have to take it 'literally'? What happens when we do? – Premillennialism. Are we living in the end-times? Will God give us signs or ways to interpret current events so that we don’t get “left behind”? – The Charismatic Movement. Did gifts like prophecy and tongues and healing really die out after the apostolic age? – Miscellaneous (American) Doctrinal Systems. Why do so many whacky religions originate in the States? (What, God used to be a man? Blood transfusions displease God—huh? Just say a few words and I’m saved?) – Liberal Theology/New Age Movement. Would you like to understand this post-modern era? Grasping the approaches of the New Age movement and liberal theology will make all the difference. – Prosperity Theology/Megachurch Movement. Willow Creek, Hillsong, Saddleback (Rick Warren) and Lakewood churches (the Osteens) have shaped 21st century thinking about church. What can we learn from the megachurch movement? The blessings of God are real. We want to trust them, but in what ways do the prosperity gospel advocates go too far? – Toward a Biblical Theology. The way we think about God effects our doctrine, and the way we think about doctrine effects our view of God. We survey the lessons from 2,000 years of doctoral developments in an attempt to clarify our thinking about doctrine.Where and when9AM-1PM, Saturday 24th September Address: Novotel, 25b Friar Street, RG1 1DP Reading Attendance in person, or online. You have the option to stay for the filming of further classes in the afternoon and evening should you wish.CostsThe costs of this individual module is £149. Discounts are available depending on circumstances. Savings are available if you sign up for module bundles. Details are on the website. For more information and registration please email me: email@example.com. Either I or our administrator Michelle Cheema will get back to you within 48 hours. More information can be found here: https:// www.aimukandireland.comFAQs1. Can I start here, or do I need to begin with UNIT 1? You can start anywhere in the course. The programme runs for three years and then repeats. You can jump on and off at any point. 2. Are there discounts? Yes. Email me or Michelle for details - firstname.lastname@example.org. 3. Do I have to have graduated from university to attend? No, the materials are accessible to people from all educational backgrounds. Please pass this on even if you are not interested or able to participate. Most likely you know someone who might benefit. Many thanks. From your brothers, Malcolm Cox, Douglas Jacoby, Andy Boakye