January 17, 2021
There is so much of the Old Testament that still drives many versions of Christianity, especially among White Evangelicals. They seem to be fixated on the wrath of God rather than his love. The vast majority of the source of that wrath comes from the Old Testament. It’s time for a new version of Christianity that focuses totally on the words of Jesus.
When Martin Luther started the first reformation in 1517 he did so as shown in the graphic here, because of errors and abuses by the Catholic Church. At that time the Catholic Church had power unimaginable today. Since my extensive studies of church history I have come to the conclusion that maybe that was not such a good idea. A serious internal re-alignment might have done the same thing without fracturing the church into 40,000 pieces it is today. It seems that when a group of people within almost any Christian establishment disagrees with others they now deem in necessary to split off into yet another version of church. 40,000 times this has happened and for the most part, because of unimportant reasons.
Ok, let’s do a 180 here. 😇
I think it’s time for another serious separation, maybe even a clean divorce. It’s time to move the church back to its roots and that is the words of Jesus. Let’s erase all those twenty centuries of theologians who have made up their own rules and start fresh. The major part of this fresh start would be to separate the Old Testament from the New Testament and even beyond that to treat the Bible itself more as a history of Christianity than as something set in concrete. The Old Testament is about the history of the Jewish faith, the New Testament is about what Jesus came to teach us.
Somewhere along the way it was decided that the Bible is totally true and inerrant. Even more damaging was the idea all the parts are just as important as any other! I simply can’t fathom that logic? It says that the words of Jesus are no more important than who “begat” who in the Old Testament. 75% of the Christian Bible is made up of some very boring parts of Jewish history. It’s time to shed that, so we can concentrate on the small section called the New Testament, or at least a condensed version of it. Jesus’ commands were simple, to love God and to love each other.
I know this separation idea is radical and will almost certainly not happen, but in my mind it is about the only thing that might turn the church away from it inevitable decline. In the US, particularly the White Evangelicals have morphed into something very contrary to the words of Jesus to promote their political agenda. Jesus had a lot to say about blending politics with religion and about the “pharisees” of his time that were adding totally unnecessary baggage to his teachings. Simply stated
We need to take the church back to the words of Jesus
I know that one of the primary reasons for White Evangelical to abandon Jesus’ teaching is fear of losing control and possible dwindling to just a fringe organization. A perhaps lethal part is that they have staked themselves out totally on the abortion issue, while at the same time blindly ignored all the other pro-life issues that Jesus tried to teach them. I just don’t see that they will ever repent of this serious mistake, so it’s time for them to go.
It’s time to throw off all this tainted baggage and start again before it’s too late. I do have a glimmer of hope that if this doesn’t happen wholesale it will come about by bits and pieces. There are hundreds of different groups who are mainly labeled as “progressive” churches who currently exist around the peripherals of Christianity. They are moving in the direction needed to make that happen. I can only pray that somehow they will eventually coalesce into a group powerful enough to take back the words of Jesus. Stick around, I will have much more to say about this in future posts.