Posts

Showing posts from January, 2007

Heterodox Aftershocks 11: Church structure or ecclesiastical polity

Is there a right way for Christians to commune with each other?Are there wrong ways?As my new beliefs have placed me outside the comfy walls of any organized branch of Christianity that I know of, I find those nagging questions about church that I've had for years are easier to examine dispassionately.One thing I'm quite sure about is that our traditional and current forms of Christian expression (i.e. church organization) are never going to change.So any conclusions I may come to can only be seen as observations, not prescriptive actions to be taken by myself or others. What church is, and how we ended up this way is a fascinating study, and one I've only began to research.So I don't have a lot of historical data to feed this fire; it's primarily powered by simple curiosity, philosophical, and theological fuel.The first question I'm starting with is, "What is a Christian church?"Well, actually, let me take a step back and throw my opinion out there a…

Maturation

There is a character trait that I lack so severely, it may be my single biggest shame.I am so dishonorable in this area that even writing about it embarrasses me.But hey, that’s what the internet is for, right?That character trait?My work ethic.There was a period in my career when I could rightly have been called a workaholic.But it wasn’t because I had a good work ethic.It was because I was doing something that engaged me creatively on a multitude of levels.Had you examined my work habits during those years you would have concluded that I was a studious and self-driven individual.And you would have concluded correctly.But take away the fuel of creative control and heady, industry-shaping design challenges and you have a lazy leech.Jesus’ admonition about much being expected from the one to whom much is given has always provoked shame in me.If I ever get self-righteous about how much better I seem than a drug dealer or prostitute I can always return to these words that cause contempla…

Christmas without Santa

I was raised without Santa as far as I can remember.But then, my memory of childhood is vague at best.My ex-wife comes from a family that found it very important to make Santa an important part of Christmas.He always gave the biggest and best gifts to the kids.He would eat some of the cookies that the kids would leave out for him and take the carrot they left out for Rudolf.So my ex continued the tradition, and even though I was never excited about it myself, I went along. I never thought it made much sense as Christian parents, to fool our kids into believing in an all-seeing, all-knowing magical being who rewards the good and punishes the bad.For one thing, the image comes way to close to God, and for another thing, it reinforces a skewed view of good and evil that trains the spirit in legalism.As to the first point, why do we find it acceptable to say to our kids when they are older, “Yes, we lied to you about Santa, but God is real.”What does that teach our kids? Besides teaching …