A religious friend of mine “liked” the following post, which caused it to pop up in my facebook feed.
For six years now I have traveled for my Lord. After a half century of pastoring, or denominational work, I have returned to my true “call” of proclaiming Jesus as Lord. During these days of travel I have observed Christ’s church from Canada to the tip of Florida, From the Pacific to The Atlantic. It would seem to me that the the evangelicals are in a crises of identity that creates a crises of relevancy. In a mad rush to find a solution for drift we adopt and conform to the momentary culture and become: chameleon. The problem with being relative is that it is so relative – passing and momentary. Some embrace Fundamentalism – which sadly petrifies truth and freezes the freedom of the Holy Spirit. Some try legalism that is a prison to life and the mind. Others embrace the go all out for the dogmatic position of their tradition and loyalty that is a tyrant keeping the soul from a journey into the truth of Christ. Our only mission is to proclaim the Jesus who once proclaimed truth to us and the Knowledge Of The Crucified One whose ethics are eternal. We can only be relevant by being truth to our Master.
His post got lots of ‘likes’ and positive comments, one of which thanked the author for his “words of wisdom.”
I read it again, looking for wisdom. What wisdom? I read it a third time… slowly.
Nope. Not a shred of wisdom; in my opinion. Instead this is what I saw.
1. The author bemoans the fact that other Christians are conforming to the current culture. He must not realize that in its 2,000 year history the Christian religion has morphed more times than a shape-shifting alien. For the three hundred years before Christianity became the state religion of Rome, there was no consensus among believers, even as to the nature of Jesus. The debate began in 325 at the first ecuminical council at Nicea; but, it wasn’t settled until after 60 years of heated debate. The final consensus had more to do with political power than truth, and the victors in Rome enforced their version of Christianity (i.e. that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost were all God) by executing heretics. The first of which was Priscillian, executed in 385 for his aesthetic version of Christianity. Thankfully, Christianity has conformed to modern culture to the extent that executing those who hold differing religious views is currently prohibited; although, there are a few Muslim knuckle-draggers who will still decapitate a non-believer.
That’s a good thing because the tangled roots of Christianity, which became the Romanized trunk of the family tree, very quickly branched into the veritable willow we have today. How many different versions are there? Too many to count; but, it is safe to say that the historical morphology of Christianity has direct correlations to the secular culture. An easy current example would be the modern addition of drums and guitars to the traditional pianos of “worship music.” Definitely a bow to the culture of a younger generation.
2. He accuses those who embrace “fundamentalism” of petrifying truth and freezing the freedom of the Holy Spirit. I love the guy’s poetry but I’m a bit confused as to what he means by freezing the freedom of the Holy Spirit. Words of wisdom aren’t spoken in riddles. Interpret this bit any way you want. There are several to choose from. Which is why the statement “I am a Christian” is so meaningless. Which flavor?
3. As for petrifying the truth… no kidding. Religion does that well, and fundamentalist religion does it very well. Don’t bother bringing a bagful of evidence in your search for truth because fundamentalists have no use for it. Their truth is based purely in faith. Which, as defined in a dictionary, is a belief in something for which there is no evidence. What can one NOT believe without evidence? Or, for that matter, in the face of contradicting evidence.
4. The most laughable part of this person’s post is his criticism of dogma. Why laugh? Because the definition of dogma is “a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true.” The author’s statement that “We can only be relevant by being truth to our Master,” pretty much fits the definition of dogma. Even though he is criticizing dogma when he characterizes it as “a tyrant keeping the soul from a journey into the truth of Christ,” I think he is wrong. Dogma is exactly what leads so many into “the truth of Christ.”
Truths like these: “The Earth is 6,000 years old, and flat.” “There is no evidence to support the theory of evolution.” And the most self-serving truth of all, “You have to be a Christian to go to heaven.”
But, does God have a favorite flavor? If so then I guess it won’t be enough to just be a Christian. You’d better be the right kind.