Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Do we stop learning?

How many of us read and expand our brains? If we read do we read materials that support what we already believe? Are we constantly trying to defend our own belief systems that we don’t even know if we believe because it is true or because it is a tradition. I am scared to think of this concept in the realm of Christianity and the church.
Pagan Christianity? has just been hammering at me over the last few weeks. It is one of the first books in a while that has challenged my thinking to the point of really reexaming some of my practices and certain beliefs I have about the church.
I don’t want to give examples because that isn’t point, the point is are we so dogmatic on how we live out our Christian walk that even faced with evidence against how we live we ignore it. Do we honestly believe that we are living out the purest form of following Jesus? If we don’t believe we are living it out, then we may need to examine our lives and see what we what sacred cows we are holding onto stronger than our actual faith in God.
Is our faith stronger in our traditions than in God? I think asking this question may have gotten Jesus killed. What traditions were the religous people at the time of Jesus practicing that Jesus questioned? Was it their pious attitudes, was it their pride in how much money that had given, was it their holier than thou attitudes over the lost and hurting.
What did Jesus lift up as stories for us to emulate? Was it the story of the good samaratan, was it the women at the well, was it zacheus, was it the children, was it the sheep and the goats? What does it look like for us to be the church on both and individual level and a corporate level?
Maybe we do not know because it would be so foreign to us if it was right in front of us. Is the church meant to be the group of people who attend each sunday morning out of ritual and duty and extremely upset if someone messes with their tradition of where they sit or the order of the service? Then they critique the pastor not by what God has done in the service but by the length and eloquence that the message is brought.
Maybe we all need to reaxime the way we view both our church corporatly and individually and see if it matches up to what the new testement describes the church to be

1 comment:

Jilliefl1 said...

The sequel to “Pagan Christianity?” is out now. It’s called “Reimagining Church”. It picks up where “Pagan Christianity” left off and continues the conversation. (“Pagan Christianity” was never meant to be a stand alone book; it’s part one of the conversation.) “Reimagining Church” is endorsed by Leonard Sweet, Shane Claiborne, Alan Hirsch, and many others. You can read a sample chapter at
It’s also available on Amazon.com. Frank is also blogging now at http://www.frankviola.wordpress.com