Our Core Beliefs

“Our core beliefs are the convictions that are revealed in our daily actions, 
based on what we actually do.” 
Greg Ogden
     In the summer of 2012, The Atlantic magazine ran a cover story about the wide use of Facebook in our present culture. What the editors of that magazine found most startling was how pervasive is the practice of misrepresentation. A significant number of persons on Facebook actually present a personal profile that is simply untrue – identifying favorite books that have never been read, favorite television programming that is never viewed and hobbies that are never pursued. These people are not lying, except maybe to themselves. They really wish to read those books, view PBS and the History Channel and enjoy gourmet cooking. Simply, there is a chasm between what is desired and what is.
     I believe this phenomenon is as old as there has been human life. There exists within each one of us the ambition to be better, faster, stronger and more intelligent. In truth, it has little to do with our desire that others to see something more in us. We want more in us. The Apostle Paul says as much when, in a conversation with God, he declares that the things he wishes not to do he does and the things he wishes to do he doesn’t. Paul isn’t remotely concerned about what others think of him. It is all about what Paul thinks of Paul. If he was on Facebook, he would be no different than many of us. Paul would be guilty of misrepresentation.
     During the transition period between Senior Pastors, First Presbyterian of Delray Beach was asked for what was most important in the new ministry that would follow Dr. Ted Bush. Second to strong preaching, a significant number indicated the desire for help with intentional spiritual growth. Tending to matters of walking more closely with Jesus and experiencing a life that is continually transformed by that walk is a high and worthy ambition. The question presses, is that the idealized self or a path that will intentionally be sought?
     On Saturday, November 9th, First Presbyterian Church of Delray Beach will welcome Dr. Greg Ogden as the first presenter for the Center for Christian Formation. I am confident that we begin this new ministry with the finest thinker and practitioner in spiritual formation working in the church today. His one purpose on that day is to provide the understanding and tools for personal growth in your walk with Jesus. My hope, as your pastor, is that what this church posted on its Facebook page, figuratively speaking, results in a strong presence for our first Center for Christian Formation.


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