Sunday, May 28, 2006

Humble Orthodoxy

Orthodoxy: the practice of observing established social customs and definitions of appropriateness.

Saturated. That is how I would describe my state of mind having passed through my first 24 hours of New Attitude. I have to admit, I didn't know what I was getting into. The surprises have been both good and challenging. I am an oddity here. I do not attend a Sovereign Grace church, and I am over age 25. I have always loved 1 Timothy 4:12, where Paul encourages the young man to not let people look down on him because he is young. The 2,500 attendees of New Attitude embody a bold answer to that call. There is an urgency here — in everything from worship to witnessing on the plane to conversations with friends — that is so often missing in young people.

Last night, Joshua Harris talked about rediscovering a "humble orthodoxy." He charged us to be a generation that faithfully handles the truth as Paul encourages in 2 Timothy 2:15: "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth." Instead of viewing the gospel as play dough that we can shape into something new and innovative, Josh encouraged us to view the gospel as a diamond. How can we best hold up God's truth, untarnished, for all to see?

The first step is to live the truth personally. Paul compares believers to vessels in a house (v. 20). Some vessels are set aside for honorable use and some for dishonorable use. The dishonorable vessels are followers of Jesus who continue to dwell in sin. Paul says, "flee from youthful lusts, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace." (v. 22) Though we often think of lust in a sexual context, Josh pointed out that in this context Paul seems to be encouraging Timothy to put aside the arrogant and impulsive attitude of youth.

This was convicting. Our generation is proud. We act as if we have it figured out. We forge ahead without counsel. We bristle at accountability. We reject authority. And yet these are the very things that God uses to cultivate greater righteousness and faith in our lives. Part of faithfully handling the truth, Josh said, is representing the truth with humility. We have not earned the gospel, so we have no reason to be arrogant about it. "We need to be humbled by the truth," he said, "and, in turn, share that truth in humility. Rediscover what has always been true. Embrace a humble orthodoxy."


Blogger Danielle said...

Hey, when I first went to New Attitude I had NO CLUE was to what Sovereign Grace was (then it was PDI). So don't feel bad. Sounds like the messages are off to a good start!

1:59 PM  
Blogger Ashleigh said...

Suzanne, thanks so much for giving us a summary of Josh's message. Sounds like it was great -- I'll have to give it a listen when I get a chance.

2:03 PM  

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