I admit, I’m a bit fired up. Mostly because I now have some sources from which I can learn about some grumblings I’ve heard among Christians. Watching our countries culture and government accept and legalize practices that God judged in Sodom and Gomorah is one thing…but seeing professing believers in the church begin to change definitions in the church is entirely another.
In my last post I mentioned that some of these things are new to me. Before I met my husband, I was not privy to much – call it “liberal” teaching – within churches. I was definitely taken aback with the vast differences of thought. My husband said last night…”why use our name “Christian” if you do not accept Jesus’ teachings…create your own name”. I suggest…Almost Christian, or something similar. (okay…I’m still a little emotional about these things, thus the sarcasm that I should probably delete) Once I began hearing whisperings of “enlightened” or “progressive” thinking within the church here and there from friends and to some extent, family, I have taken more notice. I now realize what some people are trying to market as new and progressive views of the Bible and of how the Church should function are acutally nothing new. Looking at mainline denominations, such as the PCUSA and the UCC and the Episcopal church, who have long sinced adopted veiws that younger people consider think themselves making new headway with new progressive understanding, is acutally not. And of course this is nothing new at all…if you look far enough back – you see diversions and branches of interpretation of Jesus’ teaching within the first 100 years of His life.
As I’ve started reading about these things I see a common theme that’s also not new. Questioning some aspect of the faith. Well, many thinking human beings do this throughout their faith, so that’s not so novel as some authors make it out to be whether certain authors were surrounded by others who where doing it in the same manner or not. What is sticking out, or being marketed as progressive, is the willingness of some to change some “traditional” interpretations of scripture in commonly conservative denominations. As I read the questions of some authors I hear the voice of the serpent, “Indeed has God really said?”, as a parallel dialogue. I listened to a progressive Christian mockingly share her determination to obey every command given to women in scripture (but polygamy, she said), proceeding to show a picture of her sitting on the corner of the roof for the testy remarks she gave her husband (think of Proverbs), proving, she thought, that the Bible was not meant to provide bullet points to obey, because that would be absurd. Was she asking the right questions? With my limited theology studies alone…I know better that that is a irresponsible way to make conclusions of scripture. I am shocked how bold young people are (who have less wisdom and experience and study) to change definitions for people in the church. One author said they wrestled with a particlar issue for a year and came to the conclusion they wrote about in their new book. One year she wrestled… I’m shocked some people are so confident in their limited research and time taken to learn from others they are willing to stand before God for their influence, not only for the influence on their generation but for generations who follow.
I’m rambling again…but I want to encourage those who are a bit doumbfounded about a new (or old) generation trying to rewrite tenets of the faith…to take it seriously. I’ve heard stories from my husband of this in the church…the slope is so slippery and it can litteraly destroy a denomination. You may be disenchanted with the church who has many faults (nothing new…have your read the letters to the Corinithians…) but that doesn’t mean you throw the baby out with the bathwater so to speak. The early apostles didn’t, they just kept encouraging sinful church members (all of us) to continue in obedience to God’s word. We are in a time in America the church is not only not growing equl to our population growth, but the church itself is walking away from Christian teaching because many feel is either doesn’t make sense or it’s not working for them. As the church dwindles in America, so God’s light will not be placed on as many hills to shine bright for others to see. The church should be on alert. I pray believers take notice and get ready to stand as so many before us have had to in centuries past. And be willing to speak out. 1 Timothy 3:15 says the church is the pillar and foundation of truth. Christians, let’s protect that in our country.