Monday, October 08, 2007

the bibleless church

I wonder what a community would be like which only read the gospels, with the other books in the bible relegated to 'interesting but flawed' misunderstandings about the nature of God.

I wonder if we would actually take Jesus' words seriously instead of sanctimoniously papering over the flaws in our lives they expose with other nonsense theology - which actually amounts to doing the opposite of what he taught.

I wonder what church would be like. I was sitting in church yesterday, and I was wondering how many of the songs we were singing actually match up to the words he said. I can't think of many which talk about loving enemies, spending yourself on behalf of the poor or carrying your cross and quite a number of the 'Jesus is my boyfriend', 'I really really really just want to praise you', 'Oooo isn't it great knowing Jesus?' mold. I think I am going to take a note of every song we sing for a while and try comparing them with the Jesus we see in the gospels and his priorities.

Would we have an institution called church? Jesus seemed to be encouraging people to pray alone (oh how many times have I had to listen to people praying to other people rather than God?) and to avoid having special leaders. That is not to say that clergy are unimportant or do not fulfill an important role, but church is not supposed to be like that. People are not supposed to be wearing special clothing and demanding special positions.

I am not looking to join a 'New Testament' church - as it seems to me that the New Testament Church was in a royal mess and had very little worth imitating. But I am saying that we are meant to be imitating Christ - and church really isn't doing that.

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Blogger Karin said...

I wonder if the trick is to live the way we think followers of Jesus should and not to worry too much about what other people do. Not so easy, I know from experience, but I have a friend who seems to be doing that - living the way he thinks he should whether others are doing it or not - and he seems to inspire most of the people who know him in some way. It's the fact he doesn't preach or cast judgement that makes people take notice, i think.

Not sure exactly how to achieve that, but it seems worth a try. Could be that in doing so you could even convince people that the way you understand the Bible is more useful than the way they do.

10:54 AM  

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