Ascension Online Discussion # 2

I was going to continue on the subject of church leaders, but a comment kind of sent me off on a tangent, so…

Should people change to fit the faith or should the faith change to fit the people?

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4 Responses to Ascension Online Discussion # 2

  1. Russ Braley says:

    My short answer is “yes.”
    It’s not a matter of “should” — the faith will change the person who follows it. And the faith must change to fit the time & place, or it will fade away. As Bp. Terry says, this isn’t the church we grew up in. Much less is it the church of Bp. Cronyn or of the Reformation.

  2. cecilmerriam says:

    This one has always been hard for me. I’ve even talked myself about changing the medium but not changing the message. But alot of the message has changed over the centuries. Are we actually practicing the same faith that the disciples and early Christians practiced in the years immediately following Jesus’ death and resurrection? Or have we diluted it so much with “modern” concepts that it is now something almost totally different? Jesus said love your neighbour as yourself, but did he mean for us to completely ignore the teachings of the Old Testament while we did so?

    • Russ Braley says:

      God hasn’t changed over the ages, but our understanding of God has grown greatly. Early tribal Judaism was all about God hating and killing the Hebrews’ enemies (Egyptians, Amalekites, Amorites, etc.). Then along came the prophets like Malachi saying God’s glory will be worshiped among the gentiles, and Micah saying, “What is it that the Lord requires of you? It is to do justice, and love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.”
      It’s not a matter of ignoring the Old Testament, but deciding which Old Testament religion we’re going to follow. Do we hate and execute and commit genocide, or love the stranger and our enemy?

  3. cecilmerriam says:

    I think that’s the part that confuses non-believers about Christianity. The Old Testament seems to send such conflicting messages about who God is and how he treats his people. I kind of see God sending Jesus with the message…”okay, you guys have got this all messed up. Just try to remember to be good to each other and everything will work out”!
    When people church shop, are they looking for a message they can live with or a delivery method and group of people where they feel comfortable? It sometimes seems like a buffet where people can pick and choose what they are going to believe in and follow. Are some churches/religions watering down the faith just to get more followers?

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