Over the last 40 years, I have seen faith come in a variety of packaged forms. These packages of faith are created geographically, socially, and by the requirements for employment. This packaging takes place in local churches, denominations, and groups with shared affiliations. If you want to be in the group, you signed on the dotted line of a statement of faith and its corresponding worldview.
Something has been taking place in the last few years. People are questioning the need for such things. This is not to devalue good theology. We need it now more than ever. What I am seeing, especially since the cultural lockdown, are people questioning the value of some of what they believed with unquestioning loyalty before this time of isolation. This is not a challenge to the truth itself. It is the unwrapping of our package of faith to see if its contents actually represent God’s Kingdom with clarity and function in a rapidly changing world.
Jude wrote about the faith once delivered to the saints. When he wrote those words, he did not have in mind our current interpretation of faith in all its unique representations. He was describing a faith so simple it cannot easily be packaged and bowtied with our personal preferences. The current unraveling of a packaged version of faith is actually bringing us back to something simple and agile – the faith once delivered to the saints. It is a good thing.
If you are a leader who offered a packaged form of faith and required strict allegiance to that package, you will face some challenges when people return from this time of quarantine. Before you demand people adhere once again to the previous package you or your organization offered, give people time to share what they are sensing. It might actually be the Lord speaking. The way forward for you and the group you represent could be discovered in that exchange.