1983 was a huge year for me. It was the year that a group of friends found each other and a Christian community began to evolve. Ultimately called Glenridge Church International, our passion transcended our knowledge, our zeal covered over our ignorance. I was teaching at Durban High School whilst we set out on this journey of planting this little church. It was also the year that a few of us decided to run the ultra marathon between Durban and Pietermaritzburg in South Africa. The uphill climb of around 89 kilometers had us out on the road early in the mornings. The Saturday early morning training runs of 20 kms or so, had us out as the sun was peeping out of the Indian Ocean horizon. Great days. Great memories.
It was on one of these runs that a friend and I were talking about the scriptures. We were both passionate about Jesus, excited about the church plant yet we were also thoroughly ignorant on so much of this spiritual journey. He asked me if I believed that the scriptures were the Word of God, the true text around which we could evolve our lives and the plant. We were running down from 45th Cutting Rd. huffing after a very good run, when I casually remarked that I wasn’t really sure. He stopped in mid stride, turned to me and said: “It is imperative that you settle that – for both our sake”. I was struck cold. My friends were looking to me for spiritual leadership. I was no longer simply a member of the crew. They needed me to settle this weighty matter. What did I believe about the scripture? Was it God’s word? Could I rest the whole of my life, present and future, on these sacred writings? Could we have confidence in these stories to fully discover this Jesus whom we loved? Would we be courageous enough to design our community based on this literature?
For the last 26 years I have become increasingly more intoxicated by the scriptures. That day, on the road to Durban, my life was transformed. Discovering the truth of the text; inspired, inerrant, sharper than any two edged sword has captured me. Slogans like “the bible plus nothing, the bible minus nothing” have been simplistic and yet profoundly helpful. However there has been a deep driving quest to see scripture as the matrix by which all that we do it measured. From worship to prayers, from government to ethics, from love to finances and everything in between; the word of God has enslaved us with this uncompromising freedom.
Now having led two churches, on two continents, and having helped many others plant around the world; I am more persuaded than ever that true full life, the liberty and the super-natural power of our holy God lies in the Scriptures. As I write this, I am on vacation in Perth, Australia with my wonderful family and daily enjoying here the time to mull over the Book of Colossians. This blog is not meant to be a commentary on the text but rather a thoughtful and honest reflection on what is being reveal through the text in relation to our spiritual journey. These are the musing of a Jesus lover, with a father’s heart on a most wonderful book in the New Testament. Enjoy it with me.