A Religious Liberal Blog

This site hopefully can provide some vehicle by which I can comment, complain, and once in a while praise the state of religion in this country and around the world from a liberal protestant perspective.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Commitment

To continue with the article on the "sins" of liberal Christianity, one of its guiding assumptions is that liberals have no commitments but rather is guided by "whatever".

I raised this with my post on Cal Thomas. Given the costs involved, churches and denominations have taken stands, ones which put them at odds with the wider church and society. Those things don't happen without a great deal of commitment.

I'm a Christian Too has a good post on the issue of commitments, especially in comparing liberal churches with megachurches. And isn't it odd to talk about commitment and then jump right into the numbers as if that soley determined the worth of an idea?

Not that there shouldn't be concern about growth. Some liberal churches have grown because they've created a distinct identity for themselves. It's something the UCC outreach campaigns have been based on. Not that there isn't room for improvement.

I've seen mainline churches reduce their commitments to campus ministries at the moment that evangelical groups are defining religion on campus. I've seen defeatism when it comes to young people and the church. But my criticism will be for another post.

But when it's only numbers you get into the absurd position of the IRD arguing that churches should not oppose US torture because this will cause membership decline. To defend the inexcusable because this is what sells is gospel killing.

There's lots of strategies which can make a difference for the church, but there has to be trust in doing the right thing, to not be seduced by the arguments of the IRD, to recognize that being a disciple may or may not always bring the results we want.

2 Comments:

At 2:34 PM , Blogger prodigal sheep said...

Let's not let facts or history get in the way of a good metanarrative. The so-called decline of the mainline is just one part of the religious right's revisionist history, beginning with the founding of America as a Christian nation and ending with the so-called war on Christianity.

Interesting that numbers are usually cited by the religious right as proof of God's blessing, except when the numbers seem to be going the wrong way.

 
At 12:04 AM , Blogger Vynette said...

Commitment, first and foremost, should be to the 'truth' of Jesus of Nazareth...in my opinion of course. The following points, however, are undeniable:

The only doctrine preached by Jesus and his discipes was love-love of God and love of fellow man. Because love is basically spiritual, of greater depth than words, it permits of no doctrinalisation. Love is a drawing power. If it is to be reciprocated, it can never be coerced.

Over the last two millennia, a large portion of humanity has been drawn to the New Testament values demonstrated by Jesus of Nazareth. This drawing power has been utilised and capitalised upon by most of the leaders of organisational Christendom.
These leaders hold their adherents in obedient thrall through an invented doctrinal system of rewards and punishments. Doctrines such as the Trinity, Virgin Birth, and the various 'divinity' teachings, impose a barrier between Jesus of Nazareth and the rest of humanity; they misrepresent the values he stood for; they falsify the issues that brought him into collision with the priests; and they conceal the motives of those who caused him to be crucified.

Until these doctrines are cast aside and the simple message of the New Testament embraced, God's controversy with humanity, which began in the Garden of Eden and has continued through the ages right to this present moment, will continue unabated.

Jesus warned his followers to beware the teachings of the Priests. This warning was given at the end of the Abrahamic period.
Now, after nearly two thousand years of the New Covenant, nothing has changed. Both Old and New Covenants have been apostasised in the same manner for a similar length of time.
"He that hath ears, let him hear."

 

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