Conformity..

 For this Sunday’s post, I want to talk about the strict conformity many churches today demand of those who want to be members. It is not as simple as deciding to join but you must jump through all the hoops they tell you to before they will accept you. I’ve seen the light go out in people’s eyes when they decide it’s safer to embrace a doctrine or a policy that their gut tells them is wrong than it is to challenge those who say it’s right. I’ve watched open minds close and tender hearts harden. I’ve seen people pretend to … Continue reading Conformity..

Conformity….

I’ve seen the light go out in people’s eyes when they decide it’s safer to embrace a doctrine or a policy that their gut tells them is wrong than it is to challenge those who say it’s right. I’ve watched open minds close and tender hearts harden. I’ve seen people pretend to believe things they don’t actually believe and do things they don’t actually want to do, all in the name of conformity to God’s will, all in the name of sacrifice and submission. Fundamentalism erases people. It erases their joy, their compassion, their instincts, their curiosity, their passion, their … Continue reading Conformity….

Those Non-Western Christians…

Anyone who has read much of this blog knows that I take the creeds of the Christian church to have done more harm than good.  Here are some words about that by Harvey Cox in his book The Future of Faith: Creeds were always something theologians invented, often to stake out spheres of authority. The vast body of lay Christians knew little about them and cared less. Their faith was embodied in stories, saints’ days, baptisms, weddings, and funerals. But these everyday people constituted, after all, the vast majority. The priests and theologians always remained a tiny minority. Consequently the … Continue reading Those Non-Western Christians…

Institutional Purity…..

The primary reason there are 39,000+ Christian denominations is that each are trying to maintain “purity” of beliefs. Here is how that logic usually plays out: ” If we allow differences of opinions among us then we will soon reach a slippery slope where we will slide into heresy. For that reason we must be on the constant watch to exclude anyone among us who asks the ‘wrong’ questions or dares to disagree any of our creeds or beliefs.” I have personally felt the stink of one of these churches. But what these church authorities espousing this view overlook is … Continue reading Institutional Purity…..

History of the Church — More Details …

I realize that due to trying to keep the last post brief I did not fully explain the three ages (Age of Faith, Age of Belief, Age of the Spirit) very well so I am taking another shot at it here. As a quote to explain it further I am using one from Diane Butler Bass in her book entitled Christianity After Religion. I realize it is kind of strange to use one author quoting another but I  believe this quote is the most descriptive with the fewest words of any I currently have in my database. (I’m and information … Continue reading History of the Church — More Details …

A High Level View….

In this post I will try to give you a very high level view of what I believe is the critical history of the church.  Of course, as this study progresses there might be some things I change likely my mind about.  As with most everything else I am open to different views and one of them may change my overall concepts (but I kind of doubt it 😉 ) Before I get into the view I will be using I want to give you some idea of other ways church history has been viewed: Here is a very colorful … Continue reading A High Level View….

About My Sources…

This post is about some of my sources of info for the study I am presently undertaking on church history and how we got to where we are today. I have read scores of books on church history the last few years and continue reading them for this study. I have mentioned already there is one that influenced me greatly and it is one of the reasons I am doing this study. That book by Harvey Cox and is entitled Future of Faith. Here is a small bio of him found from Wikipedia: Harvey Gallagher Cox, Jr. (born May 19, 1929 … Continue reading About My Sources…

About Me and This Study…

I want to state up front that I most likely don’t have a complete picture of church history and I’m sure some of my conclusions will go contrary to many of today’s theologians. Especially those with very narrow agendas. I also want to tell you that since there are now 39,000+ different versions of the church of Christ I believe that the church is severely fractured if not broken. But that does not mean that I have given up hope as I definitely see a possibility for great healing. I come into this study with a strong emphasis on the … Continue reading About Me and This Study…