Pastor Brian Gilroy,
High Prairie Church of the Nazarene.
A simple yet profound question that cuts to the heart of a person. Every person, every company, every organization has a set of core beliefs or values that theoretically define who they are, what their mission is and how they will achieve their goals.
What is it that motivates you or drives you to reach a goal?
In the faith community [and not just the Christian community], every belief system from Atheism to Buddhism, Islam, Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witness, Christianity, Judaism and everything in between, has a core belief system. A core belief upon which everything else they preach, teach or live out in their daily lives.
What is that core belief in your life? What is that belief through which you filter all your decisions in regard to family, recreation, profession, inter-personal relationships with others and in general, how you invest your time, money and energy?
As a student of human nature, a counsellor, a historian and a theologian, I can devise a pretty accurate hypothesis if given enough time and honesty on your part. However, as we all know, one size does not fit all regardless of what the world says.
I was once reminded by a friend, through a humourous story that he told, that all too often we adopt traditions passed on from generation to generation without truly seeking to understand the source. It reminded me of something the Apostle Paul said in 1 Thessalonians 5:20-22, “Do not treat prophecies with contempt, but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil.” [N.I.V.]
What is at the heart of your belief system? Is it a God who loves, forgives and desires to be in an amazing love relationship with you [Christianity] or is it a God who desires that you work to reach some unattainable level of achievement that only He will decide is sufficient?
Does your belief system encourage you to “Love your neighbour” or just love those who agree with you? Will you be saved through God’s grace by faith in Jesus Christ alone or judged by the good works you do?
We have two types of martyrs being prominently reported in the news lately: martyrs by choice and martyrs by virtue of what they believe. I believe if each one of us truly looked at the heart of our belief system then we would put an end to this martyrdom.
As Christians, we believe that life is sacred because God who created us made us sacred. We may not always explain it properly and some people definitely choose the wrong way to demonstrate their belief. That wrong way is through violence and not love, but then again, that is not what God wants but what someone’s tradition has taught. A tradition that is a compete misapplication of God’s law of love.
Every one of us needs to take a good hard look at ourselves. What is it that makes us tick? How has that been passed on to our sons and daughters? Are we creating a generation that will work for peace and love or are we creating a generation that produces emotionally vulnerable girls and boys who are devalued by those exposed to pornography, unforgiveness and self-centredness?