Sadly, many of those who disparage the Christian walk have never taken the time to research or embrace the truth of the Christian way of living as emphasized by the character of Jesus in New Testament scriptures and other mystics throughout history. Instead, media blips of a dying faith, a ritual life of religious intolerance, and a hypocrisy similar to that which Jesus encountered in Jewish culture are displayed on screens worldwide as the universal nature of the “evil” Christianity destined to betray humanity.
Father Richard Rohr in his daily meditation at cac.org quotes the Quaker pastor, Philip Gulley, in presenting to us the true nature of the Christian mindset:
Quaker pastor Philip Gulley superbly summarizes how we must rebuild spirituality from the bottom up in his book, IF THE CHURCH WERE CHRISTIAN. Here I take the liberty of using my own words to restate his message, which offers a rather excellent description of Emerging Christianity:
- Jesus is a model for living more than an object of worship.
- Affirming people’s potential is more important than reminding them of their brokenness.
- The work of reconciliation should be valued over making judgments.
- Gracious behavior is more important than right belief.
- Inviting questions is more valuable than supplying answers.
- Encouraging the personal search is more important than group uniformity.
- Meeting actual needs is more important than maintaining institutions.
- Peacemaking is more important than power.
- We should care more about love and less about sex.
- Life in this world is more important than the afterlife (eternity is God’s work anyway).
If this makes sense to you, you are already inside of Emerging Christianity.
The 10 points listed above clearly indicate that the prevailing world view of our faith, especially that of the strident anti-religionist, is based on misinformation and error. Jesus is more than a mythical character whom some Christians remember and worship at Christmas. The story of his life is an example to be lived by us in our lives today. It is the greatest story ever told. Namaste.