Christianity 201

November 7, 2010

“We Went to Starbucks and Had Church”

We live in more confusing times than, perhaps, Christians a generation ago.   When people say, “We went for a walk in the park and talked about God.   For us, that was Church;” does that work for you, or do you feel like perhaps they’re missing out on something?

Frank Viola suggests there are seven tests which “The Postchurch” needs to face:

  1. The Original Language Test
  2. The Epistle Test
  3. The Visitation Test
  4. The Narrative Reading Test
  5. The Consistency Test
  6. The One-Anothering Test
  7. The Purposes of God Test

Today’s post here is a link to a rather lengthy article which breaks this down.   I tried to find this on Frank’s blog, but I’ll start you off where I found it, with this re-post at the blog Change Room.

Here’s the link.  You don’t want to miss this.>

August 10, 2010

I Belong to a Cult

The Diet of Worms

The All Worm Diet

I belong to a cult.

…But that word has taken on a rather pejorative meaning lately.   In my parents generation that was clarified by using the term “false cult.”   Maybe I should say, “I belong to a sect…”

I belong to a cult.

A 2000+ year-old breakaway group from traditional Judaism.   Our founders took their cue from a rabbi named Jesus who did more than just teach, but proved Himself to be one with God the Father; proved himself to be the long-awaited Messiah.

I belong to a cult.

A breakaway from the Church of Rome who were given the name Protestants.   We took our cue from Martin Luther who decided he’d had enough of taking what Jesus taught and twisting it into religion.   Jesus was probably one of the most irreligious people who ever lived.

I belong to a cult.

A breakaway from the Protestants that took their cue from a group called the Revivalists led by John and Charles Wesley and others, who emphasized personal holiness and personal faith.   Today they call us Evangelicals.

I belong to a cult.

I’m just not sure which one.   For awhile there, I identified with a breakaway group from the Evangelicals that began in the 1970s which rediscovered an emphasis of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.   We were called Charismatics.   I still believe in the unlimited possibilities of prayer and the empowering of the Spirit in the life of Christ-followers.   But I also identify with a movement that has re-evaluated the various forms and different kind of emphases that characterize the modern church, which sometimes goes by the name Emergent.

I like the fact that Christianity as a movement is always maturing, always rediscovering itself in light of fresh readings of the truth of scripture.   I like that we are not static.   I like that with each breakaway, we come a little closer to getting it right.   We might regress a little, but then we a spurred on to something greater.

Can you document your spiritual heritage in these terms?  Church history may not be your thing, but you should be conversationally familiar with a basic outline, such as I just provided.

Okay…about the pictures.    You can read more about “The Diet of Worms” — the upper one at least — which is an important part of the story of Martin Luther who founded the Protestant movement, by clicking here.