Thursday, September 29, 2005

A New Kind of Christian...Or maybe An Old Kind...


Searching for transforming experience, we often seek to be different from how we were or who we were; in fact we are called to be different. Living as children of Light, “be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Ephs. 5:1-2) Why is it so hard to feel transformed, it is very easy to talk about it, to teach about it. But how does one become truly transformed…Imitation? Why are the worldly habits so easy to keep? Discipline seems to be a word that is imbedded in my mind for everything these days. Discipline of pacifism, discipline of prayer, reading, solitude, simplicity, love, and imitation… I have began reading, A New Kind of Christian and I like it so far, but as I am finishing introduction and the first chapter, my mind keeps wondering, maybe ‘new’ is not the solution, maybe reinventing, reforming, protesting is not the answer, maybe it is truly found in the OLD. Maybe it is truly found in the disciplines of our fathers, in the saints, in the witness of the early church. After all as Ana Baptists isn’t that what we are about going back to the early church, to be Jesus centered…I know McLaren is dissatisfied with the North American Church, and don’t get me wrong I like McLaren and I like what I am reading, but I think the issue is that we allow heresy like, health and wealth and attribute blessing to them in North America, the problem is not the church catholic (Stanley Harwaus), so the solution is maybe not the: ‘new’ but rather the ‘old’…any thoughts?

5 comments:

Jerry said...

I agree that we can learn alot from the church fathers, but they have never seen the world through our eyes. Everyone of us looks at the world differently.

So, I feel challenged to take from the old to help me discover the new in my journey, freeing myself to be more of me, more of who God meant Jerry to be.

Paul Morgun said...

Hey Jerry, thanks for the thought. It is very valid that we and the world have changed since the early church.
I guess a little about me, is that i was raised in USSR for the first 11 years of my life, in a Baptist church in Ukraine. My experience is that this idea of individualistic faith is very much North American idea, built on personal happiness of capitalism, by all this i am not saying that capitalism is necessarily wrong but I am inclined to believe that faith is meant as corporate, rather then individual.

Incoming... said...

I think you are right about rediscovering the OLD...
When I read McLaren I get excited because his frustration with the current church is my frustration. But one thing is that he seems to be good at suggesting what's wrong without giving much back as to what is right.
Your words here remind of my own need to discipline myself and make myself accountable to a community of believers...

Jerry said...

I think an individualistic faith is just as valid as a corporate faith. God is just as capable with one as he is with many. I also think that each have something to offer the other doesn't have.

Individualistic:
Without the presence of the church body, it may be easier to see what exactly it is you have with God without the influence of people around you. It gives you a chance to compare how much you've conformed to the corporate culture with how much you've conformed to an intimacy with with God.

Corporate:
With the presence of the church body, you have so much to learn about what God is doing in the diverse spiritual journeys of others you come in contact with. It gives you a chance to see different 'sides' of God, if you will. This can only benefit your personal relationship with him.

Peace

Jessica said...

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