Te Rautini Core Beliefs: Te Rongo Pai
Ko Horona te awa (Jordan is the river)
Ko Kawari te maunga (Calvary is the mountain)
Ko Te Rongo Pai te waka (The gospel is the waka)
Ko Ihu te tangata (Jesus is the person)
We believe that te rongo pai provides us a way through suffering and that suffering leads us to understand more of who Christ is
All of the disciples bar John suffered excruciating deaths for this good news, and they did so willingly. Further more, many hundreds and thousands of Christians to come suffered the same if not worse fate. Paul said in Philippians 1:21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. They were not afraid of death, because the good news was eternal, they would live even when they would die. However, it cost them everything to follow the way of Jesus. It would cost their families everything. It would cost them their careers, their finances, their comforts. Their ambitions were simple, to let all know that to know Jesus was to know the good news.
This good news has allowed people to suffer in hope and to suffer for hope. People have been so convinced that if but one more could know the love of Jesus then their suffering would be worth it. People have been so convinced that in their circumstantial suffering that the veil is torn and they are with Jesus. We have a history of radical believers in NZ and beyond. People that paid the ultimate price, their lives, so that we and others might know the message of Jesus. It’s not costly for us to be believers here anymore, and in some ways it that has cost us deeply. It’s cost us courage at times, it’s normalised the life of Jesus at others, it has allowed us to be blasé about the hope for the world.
We believe te rongo pai leads us towards a life of responsibility and self-less ambition
As Christians in the western world sometimes our biggest complaint has to do with a couple of hours on a Sunday. The worship isn’t great, the speaker is boring, the youth are too loud, the kids programme doesn’t teach enough Leviticus etc. Ever heard things like I don’t believe in church etc. Do you know what I think? I think me and you at times have placed Te Rongo Pai in the box of a service, our frustration at not living out the life of Jesus that we fell in love with at times has been replaced with our frustration that the organised Church isn’t doing it for us. Before I go anywhere, this message isn’t to the defence of the organised church, although I do love her and her brokenness that I and you are part of, I am aware she is far from perfect. It is however a message to address mindsets that corrupt the fullness of the good news from being lived and experienced.
Benji Marshall, a former NZ rugby league great said that his journey as a player went from mediocrity to success when he stopped looking everywhere else for a reason why he wasn’t playing great. When he made himself the problem, he realised that he could make changes, when it was everywhere else, he was out of control.
- Richard Rohr says this “I” am always my first problem, and if I deal with “me,” then I can deal with other problems much more effectively. A clean mirror offers “perfect freedom” (see James 1:23-25). Mirror-wiping is the inner discipline of calmly observing our own patterns—what we see and what we don’t—in order to get our demanding and over-defended egos away from the full control they always want. It requires us to stand at a distance from ourselves and listen and look with calm, nonjudgmental objectivity. Otherwise, we do not have thoughts and feelings: they have us! A clear mirror allows us to simply see the reality of what is.
- I believe that the Church should be dissatisfied, but we must put our efforts into making sure that we spend more time looking in the mirror of our dissatisfaction than the consumeristic hopes we can have of contemporary organised church. The organised church is a compass at it’s best, we gather to remember, to remember the direction that Jesus has called us to follow. We gather to remember that true followership costs us our independence. We gather to remember that God is with us and we are all with and in God. We gather with people not like us, not from our circles, not people we would ordinarily choose in order to remember that our lives were meant to be given away to all, not to some.
- In the most paradoxical way the good news of Jesus gives us a way to live selflessly by focusing on self. Paul said this in Phil 3:10: I want to know Christ - yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. Paul wanted to know how to die to his will, his self, so that he could live without vain ambition or desire, that his picture would be big.
Unless we come to recognize the lens through which we filter all of our experiences, we will not see things as they are but as we are.
To live a Christ life, to live the good news, means to live for more than ourselves. But it is more than a choice to made. It is an invitation, for we can’t live a Christ life without the Spirit of Christ, Wairua Tapu. We can’t live a devoted life, without asking Holy Spirit to renew our minds. If the biggest problems in your life don’t have to do with you, but with everyone and everything else, you need a renewed mind. We need humility to ask God to dwell in us, to reveal flaws, and to propel us into freedom. When we move from blame to ownership, from viewing people as gifts as opposed to enemies, we will know the good news and the renewing of our minds, for we will be free to follow the Way of Jesus with more freedom than ever before.