Growing up, I often heard a particular saying within the church. During those years, I only heard it applied to Baptists, but as I have talked with people from other parts of the faith family, this same phrase has also been commonplace with Methodists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Pentacostals, etc, etc. I came to realize that there probably wasn’t one part of the family in which this phrase was not applied. Baptists certainly had no monopoly on this phrase.
Since I am a Baptist, I have often said that this phrase is the antithesis of what it means to truly be Baptist in the historic sense. That may also be true of other parts of the faith family, but I just haven’t done the historical research to determine that. But I do know that it is the opposite of what it truly means to be Baptist, but many people who claim the name of Baptist just don’t realize this fact.
As I have meditated about the topic God wants unfolded this coming Sunday, He also made me aware that uttering this phrase and connecting it to His adopted sons and daughters actually denies a part of His nature. This is true because His nature, through Christ, has become our nature. Therefore, as John the Apostle says, “Just as He is, also are we in this world,” (1 John 4:17b).
What is this phrase? “We’ve never done it that way before.”
An important aspect of God’s nature is creativity. The account of creation in Genesis reveals this. God uses His creativity in how He approaches different situations and how He responds to them. Taking Gideon from thousands in his fighting force down to 300 is certainly a creative way of fighting the battle. Both testaments are full of accounts of God creatively addressing a situation.
He often did things in new ways, ways that were different, ways that were creative.
What must be remembered is that, since through Jesus’ nature now being our nature, we are also creative as God is creative. That means being willing to try new things. That means creatively forming new ways to do things as new opportunities present themselves through situations encountered.
But when a new way or new thing is automatically rejected because it is new and/or creative because, “We’ve never done it that way before,” that is an implicit rejection of the creative aspect of God’s nature which rests within each believer because rejection on this basis actually finds its origin in the religious spirit, and God doesn’t have one ounce of “religiosity” in His Spirit.
The religious spirit is all about maintaining the status quo. That means new things cannot be allowed. God isn’t about the status quo. If He was, there would be no New Covenant.
So, as the adopted sons and daughters of God through Christ, let’s allow that creative part of our new God-given “DNA” flow through imagination, not closing our minds off to possibilities, but be open to the wonders of imagination and creativity. Instead of automatically shutting down a new and creative way of doing something because it hasn’t been done that way before, let’s explore the exciting possibilities. Instead of being beholden to doing things in a certain way, let’s unshackle ourselves and walk forward in creativity.