Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Ember Church Core Values: Humility

The second of our seven core values is humility. In the early stages of our launch meetings, I wrote up a document called Foundational Theology: The Humility of God. You can view this document here. Basically, I tried to assert that all of God's attributes--everything he is and all that he does--flows out of his humility; beneath all else, God is humble.


At the root of everything God is and does, and all that he calls us to do and be, is humility. Pride is the fundamental betrayal of the way of life Jesus gave us. We strive to maintain an attitude of humility toward God, one another, other churches, and the unbelieving world.
You cannot maintain an arrogant attitude toward God and expect him to a) bless you, or b) put up with it. The Scriptures say, again and again, that God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Proud and arrogant people simply do not receive the grace of God, not so much because God withholds it from them, but because they refuse to accept it.

The new way of being human into which God has called us through faith in Jesus demands that we have humble hearts toward one another. Pride is the disease that kills the body of Christ on earth. Pride makes the bride of Christ ugly and unpresentable. Humility, however, is like medicine, instantly attacking the disease of pride and destroying it. Humility is essential if the church is to work the way God has designed it to work.

Ember is just one of many churches in our area, and we want to work with the churches around us to advance the rule and reign of Jesus the King. That means that we will honor what God has done and is doing elsewhere. We aren't the best church around. We haven't got it all figured out. We've written about this in our Philosophy of Ministry:
We are not the only people doing this. God is working through many local churches in our community to spread the gospel and advance his kingdom. Many of these churches do everything we do and more, and they do it much better than we can. We will work to partner with these other churches with the sense that we all make up a singular, universal body of Christ on earth.
Finally, and maybe most importantly, we want to have humble hearts and attitudes toward those that do not believe in Jesus. In a world overflowing with blustering arrogance blowing from every corner--religious, secular, political, entertainment--maybe humility will be the most convincing apologetic that Jesus the King really did lay down his life on the cross for the sins of us all.

Humility is hard. Pride comes naturally to just about everyone of us. But by the grace of God, we will fight off the creeping pride of our hearts and look to model the deep humility we find in the heart of God.

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