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The First Rule is: There are no Rules


People often ask for a list of our beliefs. We must admit that we don't have one.

We've got tracts on many subjects, and many rules about routines within our community. But we do not have a precise statement of what a person must believe and/or do to be right with God.

During a recent debate amongst ourselves on the issue of abortion, someone asked, "If we have rules on trivial things like daily schedules, why can't we have rules on great moral issues like abortion." It sounded reasonable...

Until we took a closer look. We can make rules on minor issues, because they are minor issues. We can change them all tomorrow if we find that they don't work, and it won't make much difference. But articles of faith are rules that apply to all people for all time. That's a job best left to God himself.

It's not that we lack beliefs; it's just that they didn't spring fully grown from a piece of paper. True beliefs, by their very nature, must grow from true experience. Our beliefs have formed gradually in each of us, as a result of our personal experiences with God.

And it's not that we are divided. In fact, our unity is almost our trademark. But our unity has grown from our desire to know "Truth", as opposed to opinions and organisational dogmas.

Our lack of theological statements is actually an expression of our faith that there is a very real, very active, very personal God, who can reveal his will to all who truly want to know him.

We say a lot about our beliefs. What we say is all part of a composite whole, that we keep adding to every day; but it is fallible. If, for example, someone asks, "Are you saying I must quit my job and live by faith to be a Christian?" we rarely answer. The ultimate question is: What is GOD saying?

We are not much better than any other club when it comes to making rules. They mostly aim to keep peace within our ranks. When members don't like them, they leave (or are asked to leave). Being in our group won't save you, and being out of it won't damn you. We're just another religious organisation.

What does matter, however, is whether or not you are following God yourself. And articles of faith only seem to detract from that responsibility.

Will God really ask our view on the Trinity before he'll let us into heaven? Of course not!

The only reason for making such theological statements is so that people on one side or the other will accept us. We'll leave that to the more popular religious clubs. We've got all we can do just trying to please God.

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