We once went to a church where they gave the members a quiz about what their ministries should be. To the pastor’s surprise, the second on my list and the third on Eric’s list was “voluntary poverty”. He had never had anyone get that on the quiz, let alone a couple. At the time, we didn’t have much, and still we didn’t really care about “things”. We tried to live simply, but comfortably.
My husband has a pretty good job, at the moment. As humans, we don’t know how long this will last. We have some creature comforts, but about 6 months back, I was getting annoyed with all of the clutter and “extras” that we had. So, I went through and got rid of some stuff. Once I did, I was able to think clearer and it was easier to clean house.
At one point in our marriage, my husband and I went through a process of spiritual elimination, as it were. All of the “extra” theologies that people often argue about weren’t something that we wanted to delve into. We’d ask ourselves, “Do we really care about such-and-such happening in a church service?” or “Do we want to take time to discuss about….?” Most of the time, we didn’t. We had a bad church experience where we were indoctrinated with some foul theology. We needed to reset.
We decluttered our spiritual temples of all of the opinions of the leaders that we had previously had. It wasn’t that all of their theologies were bad, but that we had to learn to think for ourselves. Another thing we did was study the Bible while listening the voice of the Lord, as opposed to how we thought whatever popular preacher would study it or how our former pastors would preach about it. We discovered that we needed to strip down to the essentials. We got it down to the following:
- God is Creator of all things, plus a bunch of other awesome attributes that the human languages don’t have words for.
- Jesus Christ is the Son of God who died for us, because He loves us, to cleanse us from sin.
- The Holy Spirit was sent to help us and comfort us, as well as convict us.
- Love all of the above, plus everyone else.
(If we were ever to add another one that we feel is important, it’s this: We are not gods. I won’t get into that discussion right now.)
Since that time of getting down to the basics, we’ve added back some things, a little at a time.
What are those things?, you might ask.
Does it really matter on the whole? I’d reply.