Wednesday, February 20, 2008

following Jesus or already followed Jesus

Here's a thought... why do Christians act like their faith is based on something they DID rather than something that they are DOING? There is a difference between following Jesus and making a commitment to follow Jesus. We focus on what we did instead of what we are doing. Our language reflects this as well. I BECAME a Christian... When I BECAME a Christian... BEFORE I WAS a Christian etc. The word Christian means "Christ-like" we are striving to be more and more like Christ so to even claim that we are already there is both arrogant and ignorant. How would the perceptions of Christianity change if we acknowledged that we are in the process of being Christ-like (sanctification) instead of basing our identity on the past. If Christianity is a process it changes how we approach each other and how we approach issues. Perhaps this idea can help us be humble and loving... both huge topics that Jesus addressed often...

If what connects us is our desire to follow Christ instead of what we already believe about Christ... I think it is closer to the original discussion that Jesus had with his friends and I think it is much more constructive!


Murphy said...

I guess most people are a Christian of convenience, rather than having it reflected by their actions.

ie - only when you need divine support or when you're arguing with an atheist are you really firm in your convictions.

Oh, and you should remind people about this blog. I'd almost forgotten.

Rick said...

Christianity is a religion. It's generally interpreted as a set of rules. For example, consider the ten commandments. There's no spirituality in that.

It's been my experience that the wording in the bible is about what you've done (this goes back to the idea that its a set of rules). It talks a lot about concrete goals.

First take the log out of your eye.
Believe in god. (Generally interpreted as acknowledge his existence .. which lacks any sort of spirituality.

Granted there are spiritual ideas but they don't seem to be given much thought by the masses.

Go look at other belief systems like Hinduism or Buddhism. They're spiritual in nature. Their focus is on abstract goals.
The wording in those systems is about continually doing.

Becoming a witness to your thoughts.
Attaining nirvana.

Granted Christianity has words with the same meaning but people generally don't focus on this sort of stuff.

rev. todd said...

murphy... I think you are exactly right! I would argue that perhaps they aren't "Christian" at all.

rev. todd said...

Rick... you put your finger on the problem here. This was the same problem that Jesus was trying to change and now we do the very same thing, except we use him to do it. This is "a" root if not "the" root of the problem with the current "institution" of Christianity. Jesus spiritualized Judaism and "Christians" claim to follow this trend, but we don't. This is the same issue that has been around since Jesus was doing this stuff and the prophets before him. There is tons of spiritual language in the Bible, but you are quite correct when you say that the masses don't focus on it. This is our downfall!

Jesus talks over and over again about the "Kingdom of God" and this has been watered down to mean some sort of afterlife rather than what it pretty clearly means. This Kingdom language is very similar to the spiritual ideas in the religions that you are talking about. We just ignore it... but there is a big push toward Kingdom language right now and this is what is turning some of this around.