I Confess! I Want To Reset Christianity
Now that I actually see those words, I don’t feel so bad. What do you think?
I want, not just a revival, but a full-on reset. Well, almost. We’d need to keep the most essential element in order to press forward.
That we are no longer “WOWed!” by the amount of data at our fingertips informs us that the information age is almost over. Its effects have been far reaching. Concepts like evolution, doctrine, hidden gospels, church abuses, and many questionable traditions have been thrust into the spotlight. Everyone interested can learn all about these things. From a near-outsider perspective, the result seems to be a palpable lack of focus. Should the Church cater to the people? Should the Church cling to tradition? Should the Church do this? Should the Church do that?
Last Sunday I heard a sermon that covered a verse from the Bible that mentioned the words “predestine” and “foreknow”. The preacher preambled much longer than normal before beginning to teach what these words mean. Why did he need to preamble? Because nearly 2000 years have muddied the waters. Within the Church, “predestine” and “foreknow” are now hot button issues. That means that some of you may already be put-off that I included them here.
To me, they are nothing more than stumbling blocks.
Here’s the question that can’t be avoided: How far would Jesus go to save a person? Remember, we’re talking about reality. Life, death, heaven, hell, love, separation, light, darkness–the real. The simple fact is that we know more about the Bible and it’s authors today, than many believers did for the last 2000 years. Some of the new information is difficult to reconcile. Most of the new information is difficult to ignore. Would Jesus ask us to reconcile it? Would He ask us to ignore it? Would He sweepingly reject it as clearly the work of the devil?
What’s the first step to this reset? Forget everything you know about Christianity except Jesus. Study him. If other books of the Bible need to be referenced to figure out Him out, reference them. Reference them insofar as they help us understand Him, but no farther. For example, take again the words “predestine” and “foreknow.” Did He reference those ideas? If not, ignore them. I want to ignore what we know about the formation of the church, the early church leaders, the saints, church history, everything (even Paul). Whether definitely confusing or likely helpful, I want to ignore it. For now. A deliberate act. A purposeful act. An act with the end in mind.
I believe I know what grace feels like. I also believe that despite my sincerest efforts I have contributed to others not knowing what grace feels like. I’m okay with that. But I won’t do it anymore. One option staring me in the face is resetting Christianity and beginning anew. I can’t picture the result of a unified focus on Jesus without having delusions of grandeur. It probably won’t happen. I’d sure like to try. How about you?
Thanks for bringing this up. Grandeur, indeed. As the Probable Designer and Creator of this Galaxy – for starters, The beautiful consciousness that played the role of Jesus is unable to be described. The human would have to have been amazing in its Energy and all HIS other qualities. Those who were in His company for any length of time had to be speechless. Especially at first. The church has done such a spin on that Creator Aspect of this workshop in relationships – yet the POWER of that vessel of LOVE has proven ITSELF. Yep – sure glad you opened this subject.
Getting back to the heart of the faith is a desire of all earnest believers. Like you say, it’s all about Jesus. The problem is, though, that people ask questions about everything. Literally, everything. What does it mean? What are the ramifications of what it means? How should I live because of those ramifications? The Christian Church has tried to be faithful to the search for answers to those questions for two millennia. Thus the “tradition” that has accumulated. The best course, in my opinion, is to follow the example of the first Reformers (like Luther and Calvin) who measured all of the tradition against the Word and threw out what they deemed conflicted with the Scriptures. Starting from scratch is the domain of cultists, who create a religion shaped in their own mind. It also evidences serious reservations about Jesus’ promise that the Holy Spirit would continue to guide us (i.e. as individuals and as a community of faith). Your sentiment is on target, but there are dangers in discarding what the Lord has already taught our forefathers and mothers…
It’s funny. I wrote this over a year ago. I still think it is well-written, but it has been a long year and a half. You’re point about “domain of cultists” is well-taken. We’ll keep marching. I’ve been reading NT Wright and his stuff is answering a lot of questions that I was unaware people were tackling. All good stuff. Thanks for chiming in here.