Why is more interesting than How

Posted: May 23, 2006 in Theo/Philo

Liam.jpg

(Number 2 son Liam )

Why have I started this Blog?Like the majority of weblogs it is narcissistic in nature, reflecting the things I am interested in.Of course the great thing about blogging is the potential for dialogue -so I am not completely caught up with my own thoughts, hopefully.At this early stage in my blog journey a prime reason for posting is making itself known.Right about now we need flashback music coupled with a far off look in our hero's eyes (who says our thought forms are not effected by the media).

28 years ago I became a Christian in a church which is Charismatic in style, popular culture would label it as 'happy clappy' as opposed to 'smells and bells'.This little church was full of loving people and still has a great and good effect on the community it is part off.

No church structure is perfect(by church structure I mean the way it is run, its mission, the importance it gives to specific areas of the Christian life)the saying goes: if you find a perfect church don't join it …your ruin it!Over time I began to feel a tension between my experience of church and ideas I was reading, mainly gleaned from Schaeffer,Os Guiness,C.S.Lewis amongst others.The cause of this tension is becoming one of the main 'why's' in my reasons to blog.The danger with any church group is that it becomes a caricature (a cartoon) of the beauty that should be reflected. The bread and butter of political cartoonist is to pick a characteristic of there subject and enlarge it with respect to all the other features, so it could be Prince Charles Ears for instance.This is what has happened to many Charismatic styled churches.

The 1980 Gallup poll on religion said:'We are having a revival of feelings but not of the knowledge of God. The church today is more guided by feelings than by convictions. We value enthusiasm more than informed commitment.'The emphasis on feelings and emotional strokes fills the gap that anti-intellectualism has left behind.Without going into why this emphasis has occurred I will detail just two aspects of what anti-intellectualism has done to the church, there are others.The most apparent danger that this overemphasis has created is a weakened spiritual discernment.1 John 4 V 1 'Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God..'

The basis of discernment according to scripture is a statement of content-we are looking for the a belief that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God. We are not directed to judge what is told to us by the emotional impact it gives. This lack of discernment means we will unthinkingly accept further distortions to scripture, if the source of the distortion presses the right emotional buttons.

Another result of anti-intellectualism is the presence of a secular/sacred divide where there should be none. This is most easily seen when a Christian talks about full time ministry. The idea of full time ministry is an error. If Jesus is Lord of the Christian then he is Lord of the whole of that Christians life not just the Sunday and midweek moments.

Every Christian is in full-time ministry in the job/study or what ever else it is they do with there lives.This sacred /secular divide has caused the church to withdraw from the world to be concerned with only 'Spiritual' matters yet every part of a Christians life is Spiritual according to Scripture. When and if you ever step inside a Christian bookshop look out for the Christian books concerning Politics or art or technology or Science or philosophy or cosmology ..you get the picture. I have been in a few Christian bookshops and I have never seen books concerning Christianity and History for instance or whatever it is. No wonder so many Christian teenagers cannot hold onto there faith when they start to study at University, they have no answers to competing ideologies as they have never been exposed to them.

Festus to the apostle Paul:” Your great learning is driving you mad." Acts 26:24.

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