This past Sunday, I began a new series, "Christ-Follower/s: The Complexities of Committing Your Life to Jesus" with a conversation about some of the problems with the old model of maintaining rigid "Rules" for being a good Christian. This is only the outline, but I would be interested in how others deal with this shift (of course you have to buy the shift) in church/religious life from a legalistic/modern view to a more postmodern/opensource view?
To be a “good” Christian // adpated from Ben Pun
- Go to church regularly. At LEAST Sunday worship, Sunday School . . .
- Go to a weekly Bible study group where you talk about the Bible and pretty much ONLY the Bible.
- Refrain from cussing, pre-marital sex, drinking, secular music, dating non-Christians, appearance of impropriety.
- Only hang out with other people who are following rules #1-3.
- Speaking the truth in love, convince others to also obey #1-4.
Difficulties of this model . . .
- Focused on Destination and Results
- One kind of Jesus for all regardless of circumstance/context
- Creates Division and Polarization
- Driven by Fear and Consequences
- Promises/Guarantees physical, emotional and spiritual security
Jesus offers a different way
- Meets us where we are;
- Engages in conversations;
- Encourages spirit of the law (Approach), versus letter of the law (Rules);
- No one size fits all faith. He adapts to the time, person and context;
Emerging from Christian “Rules” to a Christ-like “Posture”
- Destination/Results to an on-going process of discernment and discovery
- One Way to “A” way for others, “The” way for us and complexities of Jesus.
- Division/Polarization to authentic and respectful conversation/interaction
- Fear/Consequences to reflection upon and response to blessings
- Security/Guarantees to comfort, life, joy in the ambiguity/chaos