Thoughts of a geek

1 July 2007

TSCF conference 2007

Filed under: Christianity, University — qwandor @ 10:23 pm

This week I went to the annual TSCF (Tertiary Students’ Christian Fellowship) conference, this year in Waikanae. It was a great week, with about 100 students from universities around New Zealand attending. Andrew Lim (the pastor of Christ Sanctuary in Palmerston North) spoke in the mornings about I Thessalonians, and Dave Wells (from BCNZ) in the evenings about ‘True Witness’. There were also 5 streams of 3 seminars, though I was a bit disappointed with the stream I chose.

One thing that particularly stood out was the need to live a whole life for God. It is too easy for me to think of worship as something done at church (the Christian habit of calling singing at church ‘worship’ does not help this), rather than an attitude to apply to my whole life. Work (in which I would include study) is God-given. As such, I need to remember to do it as for God, to show an example to others and bring glory to God. Colossians 3:23 says ‘whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord, and not for men’. I have read this before, but I still do not really apply it; I still tend to keep God and the rest of my life separate.

Andrew Lim pointed out 4 reasons that God gave us work: to reflect his image; to bring Him glory (by working honestly, diligently, with integrity); to earn respect of outsiders; and to provide for our own needs. Work as a way of reflecting God’s image (God created the universe, so humans in creating things reflect God in a small way) had not really occurred to me before.

Some more relevant passages are II Thessalonians 3:8-12 and Ephesians 6:5-9. Although the latter speaks about slaves, I think that the same thing can be applied to any form of service.

Another point which I think is important is that Christians need to use their intellect for God. We need to think long and hard about why we believe what we believe, and not just blindly believe whatever they are taught. I Thessalonians 5:21 says ‘Prove all things, hold fast to the good.’. It seems that too often Christians hold on to beliefs which they are taught in church or brought up knowing, without testing them against the bible. That is not to say that faith is not important, but rather that we need to think more deeply about issues, discuss and debate them, and come to a well-founded belief based on the bible.

I attend a pentecostal church, and I think that there is sometimes too much emphasis on vision and emotional experience (both in the sermons and in the type of songs chosen for ‘worship’), at the expense of serious thought, study, and biblical teaching. That is not to say that vision is not important, but rather that we as Christians need to spend more time thinking about what we believe if we are to share it with others. (Worship is another area that I need to think more about, and maybe will post about sometime later.) I would be interested to hear what people from different church backgrounds have to say from different perspectives.

Hmm; I am probably not explaining this very well. Feel free to ask questions.


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