In response to our newsletter and the announcement here, there were the usual bundle of questions by people who do not read what I write. But in the midst of all that aggravation, there was one really great question about the new training.
A highly thoughtful, perceptive person asked what my objective was!
Go to the head of the class!
A person is more known by the questions they ask than by the answers they give.
So here is a series of answers.
-Broadly speaking it is to move people from being loyal subjects to becoming Noble Subjects. This, after all, is the over arching objective of everything we do in the third season of Sapphire’s journey.
-On a slightly more customized level, it is to teach people to function in their gifts in a dynamic way, instead of just using the gifts as the Christian signs of the horoscope. So many people have listened to the redemptive gift teaching, gotten hugely excited about the potential they have, but five years later they are largely unchanged. I want to help people unlock the potential of their gifts.
-On a process level, it is massively about teaching people how to think differently. We are pathetic at playing Scrabble with life. We whine and complain about the bad letters we have, but in reality we don’t know how to see the potential words on our tray, or where to play them on the board of life. This training will major on teaching you how to see the raw materials you have, and then to also see the opportunities you have to convert the raw materials to some more usable form.
-Ultimately, however, the emotional energy I bring to the table in this course is to restore the centrality of my King to our American theology. We are going to frame every single lesson around a three step process.
1) Discovering what God has given us as raw materials.
2) Finding what we can do to change the raw materials into something more usable.
3) Giving the finished product back to the King for the advancement of His Kingdom.
And all three of these are sorely lacking in our midst today. Most Christians have a terrible welfare spirit. They look to man for resources, confident that this teacher, or that prophet, or the other apostle, or the right pastor, or some inner healing guru has what they need to be able to go forward. I am desperate to reframe our theology so that we default to seeing the treasures God has given us, instead of making man our source of provision — our god.
Also few people today have a process theology. The concept of 100,000 steps to arrive where we need to be is anathema to the microwave Christianity of the day. And even when someone is willing to pay the price, mostly that means enduring something. Too few Christians know how to “work out your salvation” with wisdom and skill. I am passionate about helping you see what you can do with what you have, instead of fussing about what you wish you had.
But the biggest rub I have with modern Christianity is that the objective for altogether too many people is still the American dream: “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Most people who are aggressively pursuing spiritual disciplines are doing it so that their lives will be more enjoyable. The theology of taking up our cross and following Jesus just isn’t hip.
It is still Biblical, however, and I desire to refocus our emotional energy on learning how to use our lives in such a way that our entire life story revolves around the King. It is from Him that we receive treasures. And it is His wisdom that allows us to convert those raw materials. And our objective should be to have something to give back to Him for His Kingdom.
By Arthur on Friday, April 15th
P.S. Alexandra’s blog today was stunning. Scroll down to the Blogroll on the right sidebar, and click on “Light on the Culture.” She is a piercing thinker and a pungent wordsmith, but today’s blog is simply over the top.