Our local park district has a beautiful prairie that grows tall and green for several years. Then, to make it even healthier, the grassland must be burned to renew it for future growth.
Christianity also needs renewal after years of dogma that no longer sustains growth. Many old doctrines are dry and choke out fresh ideas.
The traditional Christian message was often the Missionary Sales Pitch: Say the magic words and you won’t go to hell. The magic words? I accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.
This was built on the foundation of original sin and a punitive God. As I’ll explain later in this series, this concept is suspect. Plus, much of it is not Biblical.
I sincerely believe there’s a better way to be Christian; to love and be loved. A more positive way to feel fulfilled and see hope in yourself and the world.
Christianity, God, the Bible, Jesus, and personal spirituality are undergoing major transitions. Does this bode well for your personal life, the wholeness of others, and the healing of the world? Or are there drawbacks?
The next reformation is well underway and could be more transformative than the one Martin Luther ignited. It could lead to an extremely positive change in the world. However, like all upheavals of institutions and cultures, it will no doubt involve some major disruption in Christianity, Judaism, and possibly other religions.
This new reformation started over a hundred years ago. It picked up steam since the mid-1990s with theologians and scholars delving deeper into the Bible’s message, questioning each other, and especially studying the history and dynamics of the early Christian church. Now, there’s a gale of fresh thinking blowing through some Christian communities. Unfortunately, the vast majority of pastors/priests are reticent to share this good news for fear of alienating their contributing members.
One of my goals, in this tiny corner of the world, is to take on the mission of sharing how this reformation can be a very positive force for you. It can mean the freedom to be more fully human…and enjoy it more!
If God is not who or what we used to think “He” was, would that arouse your curiosity? Or might you say: “That’s heresy. God never changes!” I fully expect some of these new views to cause confusion.
A better life?
Would you like to have a clearer, more satisfying purpose in life? What could you accomplish with a resilient, hopeful participation in the abundant life Jesus talked about? Here’s how he described it: “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-30, The Message)
Doesn’t that sound wonderful? Living a life that pulsates with hope that isn’t built on fear of hell or other old dogmas.
That’s why this blog will focus on living as Jesus taught, but without much of the thinking that holds a lot people—maybe even you—from being active in the institution called Christianity. So, in my next few writings, I will touch on:
- What happened to our old God?
- Is God Oneness?
- How are the experience and explanation of God different?
- What does the Bible say about this?
- Where does Jesus fit in? Is there a Trinity anymore?
- What’s going to happen to “the church?”
- Why are these concepts beneficial for you?
I’m still exploring this spiritual path. I truly hope that you’re curious enough to travel a little further with me.
_____________________________________ April 17, 2018
If these messages intrigue you, please share them with others who might like to ponder different meanings in life. You can receive these directly by sending an email to email@example.com and say “subscribe.”
Art Fabian is on a spiritual journey to enjoy more aliveness, and to share the goal of wholeness with others. He has no special training or degrees in this field. That is, he’s not a religious scholar or theologian. However, he hopes you might also enjoy a walk towards a richer life that benefits us, our neighbors, and all creation.