Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Awaiting a Christianity 'correction'

Monk-in-Training (shout out to Tulsa!) said:

How is it that we Christians can be on board with lying about an opponent, using fear and arrogance, knowingly making untrue accusations, forwarding emails that smear our opposition, all with the idea of forwarding the Kingdom? Whatever happened to humility and not bearing false witness? Is it OK, just because the opposition does it?

ER said:

That's the thing. What passes for Christianity these days in this country, at least that which gets most of the press, has no concept of "forwarding the Kingdom" -- the whole point is to use up this planet and "win souls" for the great migration heavenward TO the Kingdom.

But you knew that. I'm 44. As a pre-1979-fundy-takeover former Southern Baptist turned UCC'er, I know it.

Housing correction? Credit markets correction?

We need a Christianity correction -- because what we got goin' on here is an emotion bubble heaving in the Body of Christ, and it *has* to bust soon!

And I was bein' generous. It's not an emotion bubble. It's a bullshit bubble.


ER:"...bubble heaving in the Body of Christ..."
Naw, you're giving them too much credit. They only hang around the Temple, they are not part of the body. They are the money changers dealing in exchange rates of foriegn currency ate the entrance to the Temple. They are thus skimming the offerings of the diaspora intended for God. Thus they are theives of the of the Grace that others are seeking. What shall be the result of those that steal directly from God and stand between Him and those seeking Him? I think Jesus has already shown what will happen.

They dream of their own personal rapture, and tell others that they are not worthy of the event.
Yes the occupy the pews, yes they drop their shekles into the offering plates, and do good works that are well documented, but they are not of the body.
Thank you for extending the discussion!

I think the Spirit is moving amongst many younger people, in the Emergent Church. In some of the circles I operate in, they openly talk of changing the 'blueprint' of what it means to be a part of the Religious-Industrial complex of Christian Tulsa. Drlobojo has a good description of some of what we deal with here.
If I could, I would like to go a step further than drlobojo. For a long time, I have believed, but never explicitly stated, that being a Christian is not primarily, or even incidentally, about "getting saved". That is God's work, not mine.

Being a Christian means discipleship. It means doing the work God calls us to do. Going out and spreading the Word that God is Alive, God is Love, and living out that Love with everyone whose path crosses ours, and even those whose paths do not. Looking for an after-life insurance policy isn't being Christian. It's being selfish, considering oneself before all others, looking for that seat at the head of the table.

For me part of being a Christian is not worrying or caring about what happens after I die, if anything happens at all. If all one worries about is making sure one strolls through St. Peter's Gate without the alarm bells sounding, one might need to reconsider what it is he or she believes. Jesus didn't call us to make sure we spent eternity in heaven. Jesus calls us to make sure that we love one another, and bring the Kingdom on Earth as it is in Heaven.
Re, "For a long time, I have believed, but never explicitly stated, that being a Christian is not primarily, or even incidentally, about "getting saved".

Boy. Ya know, though, that IS what being a Christian means: Salvation. Getting-accepting-living God's grace. Boy. Ya know ... uh ... at some point, I do believe, one either suddenly is saved, or suddenly realizes one has been saved, or gradually realizes that one IS saved.

But then, you know where I come from faithwise.
And, now, yes. As to the other things: Absolutely. But none of it makes any sense to anyone who isn't a Christian.
I wouldn't disagree with the assertion that the message of salvation comes first. That is the bedrock of our faith - God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, to quote St. Paul. That, however, is only the beginning of the journey. If we stop there, shouting "Hallelujah! I'm saved!", I think it is fair to ask, "So what?"

God let's us know we are saved so that we can actually do something. It isn't just about "saving souls". It is about transforming lives, indeed transforming the entire world - in short, we are to be bearers of the Kingdom of God. The message of salvation comes first, and is intimately tied to everything we do, to our very identity. But, it isn't the end-all and be-all of our existence.

And, I would submit, it has nothing at all to do with what happens to us when we die. I believe - I am convinced! - it has everything to do with ensuring that others may live, here and now, as God created them to live.
I've pretty come to see things that way, myself. Believe me, it's been a long, long, strange trip!
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