“That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive” Ephesians 4:14
Even though it has now become evident that Brian McLaren came and offered a new wind of doctrine to the students at Canadian Mennonite University, according to one CMU student, the ‘Refreshing Winds’ conference was very refreshing.
Refreshing Winds was very cool.
It’s CMU’s blockbuster conference on worship which they host every two years. Stretching from last Thursday to Saturday, it attracted people of every denomination from all over Canada. This year, we had Brian McLaren and Steve Bell as special guests. Steve Bell is a prolific singer and songwriter based right here in Winnipeg, and Brian is one of the most prominent Christian writers in North America.
The campus was packed. Many of those attending were living on campus for the weekend and many more were eating in the cafeteria. The days were also extremely warm (just below freezing) which is very weird for Winnipeg!
My favorite part was the 1/2 hour presentation Friday morning about us as Christians being open to other faiths, rather than continuing down the road of not listening, but attacking the other. Brian talked about the four stages of faith. It was about how we move from “us-vs-them” thinking into a more relaxed, more loving attitude. Here are the four stages:
simplicity – Us vs. them, where only one can be right.
complexity – There are many ways of doing things.
perplexity – There are so many perspectives. Who knows who is right?
holistic – Give up the search for knowing everything, and just follow God using basic essentials (such as ‘love your neighbor’).
Brian stressed that it’s too simplistic to call the fourth stage the best. Each stage has something to teach us, and you can’t rush people through the stages. They will move when they are ready. Unfortunately, though, many churches will cater to a single stage (like stage 1) and leave people in others out in the cold.
This is big thinking, which goes beyond what some churches would be willing to consider. Taking this larger view and looking for the patterns allows us to understand what’s going on, where our path might lead. It legitimizes those who are having difficulties with their faiths who may feel marginalized in their churches.
I’m glad I was able to attend this conference. It raised many points about faith that I hadn’t considered before.
SOURCE: http://cmustudentblog.blogspot.com/ February 2011
NOTE: Parts [1-5] of Menno-lite’s review on the Refreshing Winds conference at CMU can be found here:
McLaren’s Refreshing Winds at CMU – Part 1
McLaren’s Refreshing Winds at CMU – Part 2
McLaren’s Refreshing Winds at CMU – Part 3
McLaren’s Refreshing Winds at CMU – Part 4
McLaren’s Refreshing Winds at CMU – Part 5