Saturday, September 4, 2010

Christ, not doctrines?

found at:

The future of mainstream Christianity, she adds, may lie in the Emerging Church Movement — younger people who love Christ, seek mystery and ritual, not doctrines and creeds and consider themselves "spiritual, not religious."

Kent comments:

The “she” who made this statement is a retiring Episcopal priestess, i.e., female priest.  Her summary of the “emerging” church is concise and accurate, and is a nice place to begin to comment briefly on this matter of the “emerging” ones.

First, if you love Christ, you must necessarily love what he taught, which is, of course “doctrines.”  So you can say you love Christ all you want, but if you are not interested in his teaching, then you are really not all that interested in Him - sorry.

Also, if you are seeking “mystery” then you are not seeking the whole Christ package.  A mystery is something that is unknown.  Jesus Christ made important matters about God known.  This is called revelation.  Things revealed are no longer a mystery.

This doesn’t mean that Christians claim to know everything about God – far from it!  But it does mean that Christ wants us to focus on the things that are revealed, not the vague mysteries that are not.

In addition, while ritual can be empty, it does not need to be.  Ritual can be good, if it is ritual that is invested with meaning based on the things God has revealed about Himself.  But this brings us once again back to doctrines.

Finally, the contrast between “spiritual” and “religious” is so vague that it is almost meaningless.  For something to be truly spiritual, it must be connected to the normative Spirit, which is the Spirit of God.  How do we know if we are connected to the Spirit of God?  Only by consulting the things that God has revealed about Himself, which brings us once again back to doctrines.

There is no way to escape doctrines if you are interested in the Christ.  It is, after all, He who said, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.”

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