Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Our Central Piece Is Missing

I think it becomes clearer to me daily as to why Christianity is failing on the world market. We have jettisoned the nature of God, his defining attribute, that which makes him tick.... and then we wonder why the god we present to the world is not desirable. Rather than consider the possibility that there might be something wrong with our presentation, we attack and speak down to those who reject our vacuous message.

One example of this hit me as I was reading an interview with John MacArthur recently. John speaks for a fairly large section of Christendom. When asked to define the church, he stated:

" I believe the church has one function, and that is to guard the truth, to proclaim the truth and to live the truth. So you take the Word of God, you teach it, you proclaim it, you protect it, you defend it, and you live it, and that’s a church. The Word of God rightly divided, rightly understood. "

His definition is all about disseminating and defending theology. Notice anything missing?

Then there was the test of my "Worldview" I took today over at Worldview Weekend.com. A friend of mine signed me up for their newsletter last year. Through it, I am treated to the most extreme in fundamentalist evangelical Christianity. The test labeled me as having a Secular Humanist worldview (this was of course considered bad and they had many suggestions for how I might cure myself). The test was about 40 questions long and asked about my politics, economics, theology, and so on. Here are some example statements, which you would rate from strongly agree to strongly disagree:

Making the incomes of its citizens as equal as possible should be one of the top priorities of any legitimate government.

When you study the Bible as a whole, it becomes clear that God is very supportive of an economic system that is based on private property, the work ethic, and personal responsibility.

The Bible says, judge not lest you be judged, which means we are not to judge the choices or behavior of a person as right or wrong. We all make mistakes, and thus we should not judge someone's actions or behavior according to any particular standard.

These 40 questions were written to determine whether or not I have a "Christian" worldview. Interestingly enough, I found it had the same omission as John's definition of the church.

The word LOVE is not to be found.

The bible says that God IS love. Not that He works at being loving, or that He chooses to love; it states that love is who He IS.

I find it incredible that we can define His church, or determine if someone's worldview is aligned with His, without once using the word (or even hinting at the concept) that best describes HIS worldview.

Let's face it, most of the American church likes to avoid that word. They feel it would give people license to not obey us...er, I mean God. When it does get used, there will often follow a string of qualifications.

We are way off the path....


didymus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
didymus said...

Very good point. I had a different word in mind before you mentioned love, actually a name, Jesus. Jesus, and all that he is (his centrality and paradox) makes Christianity what it is.

BTW, I feel sorry for you. That wingnut stuff must drive you nuts.

Redlefty said...

Hilarious! In a dark/depressing way, of course -- meaning the only option available is to sit back and laugh at ourselves as a species and as a group of faith.

You already listened to my sermon, so you know I'm beating a dead horse, but how can people summarize the whole mission of the church and not quote Jesus' greatest commands? I mean, he pretty much already answered the question, with two sentences. And both sentences started with the word "Love".

Mystical Seeker said...

I infer from a couple of the quiz questions that you posed that Christianity is somehow equated with right wing politics and free market capitalism, which I find particularly amusing.

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