January 17, 2010

Praxis Wisdom

After receiving my Doctoral degree I was surprised at how much I still felt like myself. I thought I would be wearing the guru hat. I imagined I would be sitting on the mount of revelation and bestowing nuggets of wisdom to any who had the smarts to come to me with their biggest life questions. Nope. Instead it was still just me trying to figure out how to follow the living God and how to help others do the same.

But one thing I did learn...I learned how much I had to learn still. My studies combined with my world travels had opened my praxis up. Who were we as American Christians to think that because we had the best seminaries in the world, we had a corner on what church practices should look like? God was calling me into the wisdom of humility (James 3) I have started learning so much from Asian believers, Latin believers and African believers. 

We confuse "our way" with the "only way" until in the wisdom of humility we begin to learn again from those who do church differently. For example, praying. In much of the world when the church prays during a service, everyone is praying aloud.  Someone is leading them but clearly not giving a speech that they are listening to. In America we listen until the speech to God is done and then politely agree by saying "amen".
There is nothing wrong with "our way" but it may be not be the "best way". I have learned a new engagement in prayer by praying with my fellow believers from other places.

Our "ethnocentrism" can blind us to the beauty of the foreign ways of doing things. May God helps us open our minds to the different forms of "practices" that our Bible believing brothers and sisters employ.


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