Filed under: Christianity, Fundamentalism, God, Grace, Jesus, Religion, Spirituality
I keep reading about people’s desire in getting back into living like the earliest days of the Church. These people scrutinize the gospels and Acts. They hold them up against current organized religion. Books are written to chide the dormant faithful into a faith which is much more “authentic.” Seminars, sermons and blogs extol the virtue of those earliest believers.
I am convinced that this practice is a tremendous waste of time. The idea that those first century converts were somehow more in tune with the meaning of faith is naive and quaint. Inside the texts themselves there are contradictory and competing movements. The difference between the Lukan witness of the Jerusalem council and that of Paul in Galatians is startling. The Pauline letters were obviously not written because the early church was functioning in harmony. We are told in the texts that others did miracles in Jesus name, early Christians fought over whose baptism was more authentic while slaves and women began to assert their new found freedom in Christ. During those formative years it was not long before different factions rose up and the dominant religious leaders were battling attractive “heresies” challenging their exclusive hold on power.
So, I have always been struck by one question. Why is it so difficult for us to be content with our present age? I guess there is always nostalgia for simpler times, but as with most nostalgia those simpler times never really existed. It is my conviction that 2007 is no better or worse that 34 CE. We have just as many opportunities to grow, destroy or redeem ourselves and our planet. I simply must reject that we spend our good days chasing a golden era. The present moment is a beautiful moment which I believe was created by God to live in the fullness of our humanity. So, I am going to enjoy this day and all the grace filled opportunities that it provides.
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