Welcome to Dawlish Christian Fellowship!
More People, More Like Jesus
Dawlish Christian Fellowship (DCF) is a growing church seeking to be more people, more like Jesus.
DCF includes people of all ages and backgrounds whose lives have been touched and transformed through their personal encounters with Jesus Christ.
We are a relational church, with lots going on throughout the week. Check out the site for more details!!
We would love to welcome you and look forward to seeing you!
To risk it, or not to risk it, that is the question the Gospel of Jesus Christ faces us with every day. We are naturally risk-averse people who often love to play it safe. You might see me as a risk-taker, but, believe me, I’ve had my risk-averse moments, too. Fear of getting it wrong can so easily blunt not only our missional edge, but our very obedience to Christ’s commands. Yet this church has stepped out in faith by selling up and moving out into a new and unknown season. I am encouraged greatly by that fact.
Yet, how easily we can convince ourselves, we would say ‘biblically’, that we do not need to be any more biblical; that we have done enough already. What do I mean by this rather outrageous statement? Let me give you a few simple examples:
“We cannot tithe beyond 10% because we are called to be good stewards.”
“We cannot get involved in any more community outreach because we are primarily called to do good ‘especially’ to those who belong to the family of God.”
“We cannot be the ‘friend of sinners’ because we are called to be ‘not of this world.’”
And the list goes ever on…
Essentially, what we are doing here is cleverly crafting for ourselves a plausible biblical-sounding opt-out, so we don’t have to actually do what Jesus made it plain we are definitely to do.
In this biblical misquoting to suit our own purposes, we can think ourselves very clever, in all our false piety, adding pride to the ever-growing list of subtle misdemeanours. Some of you will remember the series a couple of years ago on so-called ‘respectable sins’?
So, how are we to extract ourselves from this kind of self-focussed bible misapplication?
What we need is what the bible scholars call a ‘canonical’ approach to Bible study – looking at the whole of Scripture, comparing what we are currently reading, not just with the verses before and after (the immediate context), but with the rest of the chapter, the whole of the book, and the broad sweep of the entire Bible. This is the only way to avoid taking passages out of context and checking that what we are believing and saying is consistent with God’s heart – what the scholars might call ‘the whole counsel of God’. To do so requires more than a convenient cherry-picking approach to Scripture study. We need to digest the whole book. As Jesus put it so bluntly ‘teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:20)
We might already know this in theory, of course, but are we actually doing it? I mean, how biblical are we being, in reality? I’m sure we all have parts of Jesus’ teaching which are somewhat easier or more comfortable for us to obey. But the question I’m asking is ‘do we still use Scripture to justify our disobedience to Scripture’, whether we are aware of it consciously or not? To be on the safe side – no pun intended – risking everything to ensure we are obedient to Jesus is the only safety we will ever find. Let’s assume we are all probably playing it on the safe side, to a greater or lesser degree – I know I do. If we are honest enough with ourselves, and with God, to admit that we have an issue here, then we have a fighting chance of breaking free from this unbiblical habit and seeing something very exciting happen in our church.
The question then becomes, can we allow Scripture to not just inform us, but to also ‘form’ us? Can we allow the Bible free rein to not only read us (Hebrews 4:12) but to change us from within? And can we allow the Living Word to examine and call into question much more than the 5% of information that we currently know, the 5% which is usually open for inspection and rethinking? If we are prepared to admit that maybe we have some areas that we don’t yet have ‘sewn up’ theologically, then the Holy Spirit can really get to work in us, through the Word, realigning our thinking, not to mention our everyday behaviour, around the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Then the Holy Spirit can begin to unearth God’s truth and plan for us in ‘all things’ and not just the limited areas of our lives where we currently allow the Spirit freedom to roam unhindered.
Mark Jones, Church Leader, October 2018