We are now at a critical juncture in our cultural history as Christians in America. We are discovering that the kingdom of God has nothing to do with the kingdoms of this world, be they governmental, social or religious. We’ve had 2,000 years of making these same mistakes over and over again, but then again, we never learn from history. You cannot use any power attached to a worldly kingdom to further the kingdom of God. It has been a grave error of the last 30 years for so many to presume that political power could further the work of God in the world. Great harm has been done to America, the church and especially the gospel message as a result.
Because there has been such a confusion of kingdoms in the Christian subculture, we believe it best to abandon the subculture altogether and seek primarily to merely be Christians in the world. Wherever the word Christian is used as an adjective, there will be a confusion of kingdoms. The only thing that can truly be Christian is a person – a follower of Christ.
As a result of this confusion and discrepancy, it is crucial that a new model of conscious involvement in the world be established, and we at the Catch are seeking to provide that, all the while admitting that this is a process which includes making mistakes and learning from those mistakes.
Though not complete, and most likely not entirely right, since we are in process, we nonetheless humbly offer the following statement of beliefs as the beginning definition of what we now call the Gospel of Welcome — Grace Turned Outward.
First, we believe the Holy Spirit has left the building. The Holy Spirit is not and has never been confined to a subculture or the four walls of a church building. The Holy Spirit is alive and well and at work in the world at large, and it is the job of all Christians to find out what He is doing in the world and join Him.
Second, we believe that the gospel of Jesus Christ welcomes all comers, so our “doors” are closed to no one. You do not have to commit to a particular agenda, lifestyle, or orientation to walk with us. Our community is open to all sinners saved by grace.
Third, we believe that true freedom comes from being a disciple of Christ. “If you hold to my teaching,” Jesus said, “you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” For this reason we are not in support of a Christian agenda or even the Christian religion. We are not in support of “Christian” (as an adjective) anything; we are followers of Christ committed to finding out about and following His teaching as laid out in the gospels (the red letters) and backed up by the rest of scripture. That is all.
Fourth, we believe that we can affect the greatest change in the world through humbly loving and serving others, not by lording it over them. Being a Christ-follower is all about power under people, not power over people.
Fifth, we will assume nothing based on words only, but as Jesus taught, by word and deed. It’s not the big things we say, but the little things we do every day that make a difference in the world.
Finally, we believe that all these things taken together constitute a new movement of the Holy Spirit not unlike the Jesus movement of 40 years ago. And because we are an Internet community, worldwide, we believe the Catch community can best act as a leader in this movement. We – John and Marti — enthusiastically accept that role and ask all in our community to do the same. Welcome to the Gospel of Welcome — Grace Turned Outward.