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Faith Week 1: Zahnd

March 18, 2010

Brian Zahnd kicked off Faith Week last night and it was a perfect start. “Faith, Forgiveness and Trains”

He talked about how Christendom tends to make itself over every 500 years or so. We’re about at the end of the last one – the Protestant Reformation – and it’s time for another make-over. Or, as Pastor Zahnd kept saying, it’s time to get off the Protest Train.

As Western Christians, we’re steeped in this protest mentality. (We’re protestant.) From Luther to the American Revolution and the Boston Tea Party, when something needs to get done our reaction is to protest. It’s in our blood.

But, again, that train has come to the end of it’s 500 year track. He brought up an interesting – as obvious as it should have been – point that the Protestant Reformation was within Christendom. It was people of faith talking to people of faith, and that’s not our situation today.

The first decade of our new 500 year mark has been about wandering the corridors of the station trying to find the right platform for the next train. Many people of faith have been doing it, Pastor Zahnd included, and he’s suggesting we work on being known as a people of Forgiveness rather than Protest.

He outlined some of the pivotal points of our faith that center on Forgiveness:

  • The Lord’s Prayer – “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those”
  • The cross – “Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do.”
  • The Great Commission – “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven.”
  • The Apostle’s Creed – “I believe in … the forgiveness of sins.”

Something about hearing someone else say it – someone who has been a believer, a leader, and a respected one at that – validates stuff to me. Maybe that’s a weakness and I should trust what God teaches me, but it’s just nice.

It’s not the first that any of us have heard of this. The past decade, as he said, certainly has been about striking out to find the face of faith in the 21st century. People of the Second Chance was born. Adopt a Terrorist set up shop. Books like UnChristian shattered paradigms.

And personally, it was nice to hear someone more articulate than I, put words to what exploded in my soul that afternoon with Bound4Life about a year ago. (I love Bound4Life, for the record. I just don’t completely agree with all the methodology.) And it was nice to hear someone more experienced than me nod at what I think Holy Spirit has been telling me lately.

If you missed it, CDs are available, but don’t miss tonight. Rev. Matthew Thomas from India. 7 PM.

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