Our denomination, the Evangelical Covenant Church, believes in the centrality of God’s Word. One of our foundational Covenant Affirmations is the conviction that states that “the Holy Scripture, the Old and New Testament, is the Word of God and the only perfect rule for faith, doctrine and conduct.” It is our conviction and deep desire that “in all we believe, do and say, we place ourselves under the authority of God’s written word and seek its direction.”
The above quote comes from a resource paper, commissioned by our denomination’s Annual Meeting entitled The Evangelical Covenant Church and the Bible. I have found this paper extremely helpful in explaining and describing how we as Covenanters have historically approached the reading, study, and application of God’s Word. The paper describes five ways we, as Covenant people, live out the Bible. “At our best, we as Covenant people read the Bible…
1. Faithfully, with a deep understanding of the power of God’s word and our differing interpretive lenses, which requires humility;
2. Communally, with the understanding that interpretation calls for the help of the both the Holy Spirit and the entire community of faith, including the historic church represented in the common Christian creeds;
3. Rigorously, with the knowledge that the Bible comes to us across a distance of time and culture that calls for study and careful thought;
4. Charitably, with regard to differing interpretations of Scripture;
5. Holistically, with the belief that it is the movement of the whole Bible that guides us.”
Let’s keep these five qualities in mind as we continue with the Community Bible Experience (CBE) from now through Friday, April 7. Let’s fully engage these books (Joshua thru Samuel/Kings) faithfully, communally, rigorously, charitably, and holistically!
And speaking of engaging God’s Word communally and charitably, I strongly encourage you to get the most out of the Community Bible Experience by taking part in one of our CBE small groups. You can attend the same small group each week, or attend different small groups as your schedule allows. Just to remind you, our CBE small group offerings are as follows:
1. Sundays, 6p – 7:30p
2. Wednesdays, 7:30p – 8:45p
3. Thursdays, 10:30a – noon – our men’s group
4. Fridays, 7p – 8:30p
When you encounter the Bible in the ways listed above, it will absolutely change your life (more on that in next week’s column), so keep reading and discussing these sacred texts thru our Community Bible Experience!