Friday, July 20, 2012

What If ?

This afternoon I was thinking about how we practice Christianity has changed just in my life time.  When I was a girl, one would not have heard sermons about praying for prosperity, or imagined going to a service that had big screens and bands.  Before you feel offended, notice I don't say anything about if these things are good or bad, I just mention them as examples of how "religious practice" has changed.   As is often the case with my brain, one thought turned to another and another.  I sat thinking about there are times I no longer know how to believe.  The world we are living in is full of changes, daily.  One just needs to study diet and in a weeks time you will be totally confused.  Eat meat, don't eat meat.  Eat fat, don't eat fat.  Etc.   The modern church is a bit like that.  One says something matters, and another church will say, "oh no, that was done away with".   Each denomination has there own take on a certain scripture, claiming all else has it wrong, but then in a few years time, even that might change.  
So, what would the Christian fellowship look like if tonight, God sent all His angels to sprinkle some sort of dust on us that made every single Christian forget all that he/she was taught about their faith.  No knowledge of what preachers or parents taught them.  There were no longer stories of saints, no Popes, no Denominations, no conferences, no books that taught us how to believe or what to believe, apart from the 4 Gospels !  And along with erasing our memories regarding all that we have been taught to believe, we were giving an insatiable desire to study these 4 books that contain all the teachings of Jesus without any preconceived ideas and concepts and have a desire to live according to what we read ?.  Just pure desire to live according to the words of Jesus.  What would the Christian church look like without all the folks telling us how to understand what we can read for ourselves.   ?  What would the church look like ?  How would we treat one another ?   What would our Christian politicians be talking to us about ?  "Love one another as we love ourselves" ?  How would we see one another ?  Would that sad and lonely person on the street, stir within us a tenderness like Jesus has for each of us ?  Would we live to get more of this and more of that, or share whatever we had with those in  need, no matter how they became in need ?   Would would we dress like ?  Would we even watch TV ?  Would we overeat  or share whatever we don't NEED on our plate ?   Would we live each moment in fear or full of peace ?   Of course we would not be perfect, but we would not be living our Christianity in the shadow of anothers experience and concept of what was meant.   I would be different for sure.  I would not have a mind full of quotes from other people about what Jesus meant or didn't mean.   I would be filled with NO judgement and more compassion, since that was what Jesus taught.   I would only have things like the Sermon on the Mount as a code to live by.  Phrases like " Do not worry about what you" etc would be more ingrained in my thinking than wondering which diet guru is right.  Certainly my heart would not be drawn to fashion.  I might have a keen eye on what is happening across this great globe we live on, wondering if Matthew 24 is relevant to our times.   I guess I would go to church on Saturday, maybe, but I would be ok picking grain on that day..   I think, our hearts would be bigger, our homes simpler and there would be so much less fighting with all that turning of the cheek thing.  I think without all the divisions among the believers we would do lots more good in the world and there would probably be a lot more Christians around.   Offerings would go more to the people and less to supporting mansions on earth.  There would be more accountability since we would all be united in the same belief, without all the "well, they believe this" kind of commenting going on.  We wouldn't think this group or that group of Christians was going to hell because they didn't do what Peter, or Paul said and how the church fathers told us what to believe.   If we had this mind from the begining, there would be no" Martyrs Mirror" to read, no caves needed for hiding places.  There would have been no "indulgences"  no need for the Puritans to flee to another country.  I think though, we could all think about this a bit and see just what Jesus did have to say.  Just him.  His words are enough to show us the way.   


Anonymous said...

very good post. I do believe we are all stuck in some kind of Christian bottle and we have no idea, really, what it is we should be doing other than what those around us say we should do. I've been guilty of it and I'm sure you have as well. Thanks for giving me something to think about!

Grace & Peace,

Morning's Minion said...

Interesting thoughts, Patty--I've pondered some of these issues wishing that how to do Christianity could seem a bit simpler.

Shelley said...

God inspired words..I'm sure...I too have been led to think upon such things. I am being led by the Holy Spirit,and am learning too that those "words in Red" are what so very important..he showed us the way..he is the way,the pure truth..and the life. If you are interested,read my post I just typed last night. To see how God is leading and teaching me...just a glimpse of where he is taking me....blessings

Peacemom said...

I think this is why some people are so discouraged by religion. I'm a very spiritual person, but I get very tired of one religion claiming to be the only way to God and Jesus. I think there are as many ways to God as he made, and so none is better or worse as long as it's following his word. The problem is so much interpretation of those same words. My personal mottos are simply- treat others as we'd like to be treated and do no harm. Beyond that, it's all between God and each person individually, I'll not judge it as it's not my experience. Nice post, a thought provoker...~Vonnie

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