Worship Teaching, March 14, 2009

The Pursuit of Happiness: The Euphoria of Groupthink
Philippians Teaching Series, Part Four, Philippians 2.1-4

Paul talks about how he wants the Christ-followers in Philippi to develop a like-mindedness.  Naturally, you would assume that Paul would then spell out a list of beliefs or doctrines that he would like them to agree upon and intellectually give assent to.  "Agree on these points of doctrine," could be an easy retranslation.  You would think Paul would give a definition of orthodoxy (right belief or opinion). 


But instead of listing doctrinal points, he instead says, "Have the same love for one another.  Unite in spirit and purpose.  Don’t try to carry out your agenda or try to make everything about you.  Consider other people more important then yourselves.  Don’t just think about your own needs, see how you can take care of other people’s needs."  For Paul, nothing would make him happier, and nothing would be more wonderful in a church than for everyone to be becoming more and more loving towards one another, not getting upset with each other and taking care of each other.  For Paul, it is not about orthodoxy, but orthopraxy (right action or practice). 


So the implication for the church is obvious.  You want a happy church–take care of each other, get over yourself and your agendas, and unite in spirit and purpose.  It’s conformity to doctrinal belief that brings happiness, but conformity in loving one another that brings happiness.


I hope Canton Adventist is an orthoprax church.  May orthopraxy be our new orthodoxy.



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