Monday, February 14, 2011

Tension- The Spiritualist and the Strategist

My mind was blasted this week from so many different conversations dealing with God, church, mission, and discipleship.

Tension is a great thing in dealing with all of these conversations.

A couple of weeks ago I was in a lecture with T.J. Addington and one of the tensions he talked about in the Christian realm was the spiritualist and the strategist. The spiritualist high points are listening to God, patience, disernment, wisdom, and thinking before acting. The strategist high points is acting on what God has said in the Bible, planning on how to incorporate what God has said, and doing it.

I had never heard anything like that said before, and it makes sense as I look at people on the polar extremes of this continuum. The easy answer is there are examples of both in the Bible, and there are those that fall all along the line of the extremes. But how are both ends used together to expand God's kingdom?

Jericho and Joshua is an example how both of these work together the spiritualists role was the seven priests who carried the rams horns and the obedience and the patience to march around the city seven times. I can only imagine those who were more on the strategic side thinking this isn't going to work. But Joshua obeyed and when they blew their horns and shouted the walls came down and the Isrealites strategically advanced. It was both working in concert with each other.

It is so easy to think either or in terms of spirituality or strategic thinking. But using Jericho as an example God works through both.

The great commission is generally clear, this is what we are to be doing while we are here on earth, but specifically we get hung up on it because we don't know specifically what our role is in that. The spiritual would advise pray and wait until God says specifically what you need to do. The strategics answer would be God has told you what to do lets go break down some walls. Neither of those answers are sufficient in themselves. it is easy to not do anything for some and it is very easy for the others to be busy for the sake of being busy but how do we work through both sides to find a more complete answer?

I am in awe of the concept of the body of Christ. It is so comforting to know that we are to work together in building the kingdom of God both in our context and through out the world.

The hard part for us as humans is valuing those gifts and personalities that are unlike us. The strategist needs the spiritualist and vice versa. We can see this throughout scripture and the answer isn't to change the other to be like my personal preference but rather how do we all work together? How do we become unified on what Jesus commanded us to be? How do we use the example of Jericho and send the worshippers and prayer first, but not end there? How do we hold back those looking to destroy everything in their path and wait for the worshippers and prayer?

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