Thursday, December 14, 2006

Where did we go wrong?

This is an interesting article on CNN about Christianity and how it is perceived, and what has gone wrong? Worth the read.

7 comments:

wibs24 said...

I totally agree with what they say.

Nice new layout Pav!

Paul Johnston said...

hmm...the not so meek and the effin' foul mouthed will inherit the kingdom...yeah, that'll work. ;)

Personally I think that most commentators and many Christians mis-diagnose what "ail's us". I don't think we need to recreate ourselves, rather I think we need to wholely ignore and reject some forms of Christian expression.

We can all agree that Nazism, was and is, heinous. Still we don't reasonably conclude that all German's are likewise.

If Christianity really is the "flesh made word" and the only path to salvation, then it is long past time for all Christian peoples to re-unite.

First Roman Catholics with Eastern Orthodox, and then with all our Protestant brothers and sisters. The job will be as easy or as difficult as we choose it to be.

Young Christians will be crucial to the ultimate success or failure of a "one family" reconcilliation. I firmly believe however, that our young people must bring a "gladness of heart" and a spirit of renewal rather than the temptations of a sceptical spirit of deconstructionism.

In the end we must discern wisely and trust in one another faithfully if we are to truly become, "Light of the World; Salt of the Earth".

His Peace be with us,

Paul Morgun said...

Hey P. Johnston, thanks for your input. Now I don't know much about Bakker and Brown, what I did understand the article saying was not recreating Christianity, what it was saying from my perspective was rather going back to the roots, to the example set ultimately by Jesus.

What this article does a good job of showing is what is going on in Christian community in North America. And the comments at the end of the article show just how divided people are on this issue. I think we are left to respond, and I think you hit the nail on the head: "in the end we must discern wisely and trust in one another faithfully if we are to truly become, "Light of the World; Salt of the Earth".

Thanks for your words.

Heidi Malene said...

Hey Paul,
Nice job on the blog...getting pretty snazzy! Can't wait to see you guys again!
Heidi

Paul Johnston said...

Thanks Paul, likewise I appreciate reading your blog and the opportunities for spiritual dialogue that it creates. Also too let me commend you for your chosen vocation.

May God continue to bless you in your work.

As for young Mr. Baker's ministry, I tend to regard with suspicion (prudently I believe) those movements that are looking to "create" an "authentic" church, as if such institutions did not already exist.

Historically both Eastern(with greater certainty) and Roman sects of Catholicism can lay claim to being objectively authentic heirs to the spiritual legacy of Jesus Christ.

From our risen Christ's proclamation in scripture that the Apostles, are to "return to Jerusalem and await the arrival of the Holy Spirit" and his further claim in the Gospel of Mark that "he will always be with us until the end of time", only those institutions that have had a continuous historical relationship with Jesus can claim to being authentic.

This is not to suggest that the historical heirs of Christ's legacy have not been at times appallingly sinful and just plain wrong but rather, just simply authoritative and of undisputed origion. ( A fair and reasonably objective definition of authenticity, I think).

In my opinion, from the Reformation until today, disagreeing Christians ought to be able too, through scripture or better yet through the power of the Holy Spirit, give conclusive proofs as to why the authentic authority of the Catholic churches, should be disregarded.

Humbly, I would submit, they haven't.

What I do believe, sincerely and honorably in some cases, (less so in others)is that many Christians have confused the Churches sinfullness and it's seeming irrelevence to them culturally with it's right to be authoritative.

With regard to the Church's sinfullness I believe it is a loving and spiritually sound undertaking to question and confront leadership with regards to it's actions. Families can disagree and there ought to be room for that. That being said though, disagreement should not, in the Christian paradigm, be grounds for seperation; "A house devided cannot stand". Or one of my favorite Pauline exhortations, "Now I appeal to you brothers and sisters, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in agreement and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same purpose".

As for what I define not as true authenticity but "cultural relevence", as suggested by Mr. Baker and others, I think we should question such claims rigourously.

Firstly I think good logical arguements can be made for the fleeting subjectivity of "cultural relevence". Further such relevence is wholly relativistic and as such, serves as antithesis to the absolute nature of our theological claims. While it is fair to speak in languages that relative culture and different ethnic cultures understand, that is not the same as suggesting that the Gospels must be re-interpreted to conform to a particular cultural perspective.

For me that is the first of all heresies, reflected in the fall of mankind from grace and a root cause of origional sin.

Mr. Baker's particular brand of relativism is particularly more disconcerting in that it borrows from a "punk" culture that once laid claim, through the lyics of the sex pistols, to the somewhat irreverant claim, "I am the antichrist; I am the anarchist"...If you want to sincerely speak to fairness and human dignity you would do well not to show up at the meeting dressed as a stormtrooper and waving a swastika...so to speak.

I'm not neccessarily questioning the sincerity of Mr. Baker or that of his congregation, rather I'm suggesting that they are, perhaps unknowingly, engaged in a dangerous spiritual game of creating a God in their own image.

Timothy Nightingale said...

I enjoyed the article. The writers obviously had very little room to express a concept that they could write a book on. From what they wrote I haven't decided whether i agree 100% but I did quite enjoy it and I think it holds truth and has things to think about, however what I enjoyed (or maybe hated) the most was some of those ridiculous comments that people felt inclined to post to the world.Man some Christians can be so embarassing...

Timothy Nightingale said...

I have a blog.... its like a baby....