friends in colorful t-shirtsIf you think this is just some desperate attempt in trying to be cool and come up with yet another buzz word thats not it!

Heres my take on this:

For 500 years now since the time of the Reformation of the Middle Ages weve had basically three major confessions within what is considered orthodox (as in proper not as in Eastern Orthodox) Christianity. But even the idea of orthodox Christianity sounds different depending on which of the representatives of one of these three major Christian confessions does the talking. Let me give you an example – Im probably a heretic to some Catholics to some Eastern Orthodox and Im sure to some Protestants.In fact the factions within in each branch are so numerous its impossible for myself or the average person to keep up with them all – historically or in the present day.

Why would I be considered a heretic by the high-level clergy? Because I worship an idol? Because I deny the divinity of Christ his virgin birth or his Second Coming? Nope. None of these.

If you look at my beliefs Im as close to the original confessions of the faith Id dare anyone to match my creed card results 🙂

But you see I might be deemed a heretic mostly because I dont subscribe to the ecclesiastical or liturgical form of these different bodies. And they have transferred their toxic culture of sectarianism to their constituents and…well heres how you get all your divisions and schisms.

At the same time theres a yearning in the hearts of many many believers to see believers come together as one. After all Jesus prayed this special prayer at the end of his earthly life commonly known as his High-priest prayer

“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message that all of them May be one Father just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world May believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me that they May be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they May be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. John 17:20-23

So why is unity so elusive? Why dont we get along – people from different confessions denominations and movements? Certainly this is not what Jesus died for right?

As I said already the traditional way clergy have handled differences in adhering to their specific form of liturgy is to declare anathema on the dissenters and boom – another denomination is born. May be.

Or May be the dissenters simply are told theyre now lost damned and practically already burning in hell. Some May even be. So they give up and their revolt is squashed.

But for the most part this tension between keeping the Christian tradition while looking for new forms has been very painful and has caused a lot of unnecessary weakening of the Body of Christ. And for the most part the way I see it in history if it wasnt for those dissenters who kept pushing the envelope and kept refusing to accept the status quo where would we be today? Many times the status quo was in fact more like status demonicus if there ever was such term. I mean the level of corruption in the Church at times was so bad if it was ever depicted in a movie it would make the makers of a modern R-rated movie blush.

So heres the problem again – we get too hung up on the form and we forget the essence of Christianity.

The Church has traditionally been so identified with the liturgy so much of what we have thought of as Christianity has been shaped by the liturgical format of one or another tradition or confession to a point of compromising the very essence of what our faith is all about.

Did Jesus come to give us a new liturgical form? He didnt? He taught both in the temple and in the fields of Israel. He taught at peoples homes healed people by the towns pool allowed a prostitute to wipe his feet with oil (I hope someone doesnt get the wild idea to start a new movement based on those few verses!).

So yes thats us – the human race. God is not in shock of any of that. He knows our propensity to self-importance and arrogance. Hes probably laughing at most of it. Or crying depending on the extremes.

I believe Jesus came to give us the core truth of the Kingdom and he is perfectly okay with us to find the forms that work.

In programming language – he came to give us the source code and is now allowing us to build what he has called us to build depending on the many variables – culture geography history economic conditions.

Thats what open source Christianity is about – its about what works. Its about holding on to the non-negotiable core truths and teachings of the Kingdom while taking our liberty of constructing whatever He has called us to construct – communities of believers (formerly called churches) business enterprises social enterprises cities national cultures civilizations. I dont care if youre from one denomination or another one confession or another.

Is your Christianity working? Are you bearing fruit? Or are you dried up by dead religious works and condemnation. Or are you sinking in your own post-modern relativism and you dont even know it?

Which is it? There has to be loyalty and commitment to historic truth. There has to be creativity and pursuit of the most advanced innovative ways to connect with our communities our world.

This is also what I call the reformation of the Church. It has to lead to the transformation of our world beginning with our families communities and cities. If it doesnt – go back to the Word. May be youre a bit too hung up on the form but have missed the core the source of the very life we have from God.

Okay so before we take off into space let me bring you back to earth – this is about an ongoing search of the essence of who Jesus is who the Father is who the Holy Spirit is what Gods Kingdom is all about who are we in Christ and how do succeed in this awesome task of praying and living out his will and his Kingdom – on earth as it is in Heaven.

 

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George

Creator and moderator of www.opensourcechristian.com Instigator in Chief Thought Leader Defiant of Evil Defender of Good