Sunday, 20 September 2015

A privilege and a Responsibility

As a minister I have a tremendous opportunity and privilege to speak prophetically into our nations situations, but I also carry a responsibility to ensure that I offer balance and not bias, of course I have opinions, but I have no right to use my position to force my opinions upon others. I cannot assume that my views are the right views, even though they are what I hold, and so need to challenge people to think, and those who are Christians, to seek God on each issue and make, hopefully, informed understandings.

Coupled with that comes the responsibility for speaking into the life of those who are a part of the church I have been called to minister within. Challenging attitudes and life choices that as church we see as incompatible with our faith stance and ultimately with scripture and of course there will be bias, my understanding of scripture, but still I must wrestle with the fact that among Christians there are differing views. Alongside that comes the privilege of encouraging, discipling and growing those who want to grow in their journey with Christ.

Let me give some examples of this related to Christians:

Opportunity's would include speaking out on the current refugee situation in Europe and encouraging looking at the range of responses and attitudes and asking what would God want of us in this? They would also include supporting efforts to deal with homelessness and helping those with a lack of food, through our local food bank.

Responsibility weights heavy, when dealing with issues like sexual morality, not engaging in sex outside of a monogamous, heterosexual marriage and not engaging in adultery some of which cause much debate and divided opinion . But other issues also have to be dealt with such as how we treat or regard others, how we handle money and giving, to name a few.

But the other side is working with folks who grow in faith, seeing them blossom and find their way, strengthened by God. Being privileged to help them seek more of God, find out about their gifts and directions and seeing them working for God's glory. It includes the privilege of walking with others in their difficult situations offering comfort, support and care.

I know also that  I could not do what God has called me to without the wisdom, strength, love and power that he gives me through his Holy Spirit and the gift I cherish the most, is his grace, the knowledge that he will love me no matter what.


Joe Haward said...

Thanks for this Tony.

I am a little confused though with where you're trying to go with this post. I fully appreciate and understand how within our calling we need to be people who absolutely do not abuse our role, who are a people who listen, listen listen.
But to say that we offer balance and not bias, opinions not forced upon others seems contradictory in light of the rest of your post where you make it clear where you stand on certain issues.
As a people called to proclaim the Gospel we are a biased people! And I don't think there is anything wrong with that. We preach Christ crucified and the impact that has on every sphere in reality. Seems unavoidable to me.
Hope I'm not out of turn, just seemed like there are different messages in this post...

tony mayes said...

Thanks Joe - I tweaked the wording a bit - hopefully making it a little mote obvious. I cannot see anywhere where I suggest forcing my opinions on others, I simply state some of the things we wrestle with in church life.

I think we have to offer a balance, what are others thinking, what views do they hold, what view do I hold? Of course I have a bias and I was not clear on that. But there are people in our churches with a wide range of views, deeply held from wrestling with scripture, some I will agree with some I will not.

Outside of the church I do much the same I explain my view or opinion when engaging with people but allow others to express theirs, we may disagree and never accept each others opinions. Again I would not force my opinions upon others.

hope that helps

Joe Haward said...

Thanks Tony, that's really helpful.