Losing Glory To Gain It
For the sake of discussion/thought, what would you say is the single most influential event in the western world for the christian worldview?
Is there a down side in the influence the Judea-christian worldview has had in the west?
Vassar notes, the “focus on glory and privilege removed the radical nature of following Jesus.”
Power and position contradicts cross-centered theology.
There was at one time a fine and faint line between genuine followers of Jesus and those who simply professed and then followed a few cultural norms. This is perhaps nowhere more evident than in the southeastern U.S., commonly called the “Bible Belt.”
For some, baptism was more of a social club entrance rite than an identification with the Suffering Messiah, a pledge of death to self and life to Christ.
From 313 and the Edict of Milan, where Christianity went “from being an illicit, persecuted sect to being a welcome — and soon dominant — religion of the Roman Empire,” to even a rather modern history, Christianity enjoyed some form of “home field advantage.” It was even evident in the “Blue Laws” in the U.S. But, decades ago, things began to change. In 1963, in Greenville, SC, at the Fox Theater, South Carolina’s blue laws were challenged and the church had its first “competition” on Sundays.
Culture and christianity put up their respective dukes. In the book Resident Aliens, Hauerwas and Willimon conclude, “before the Fox Theater opened on Sunday, Christians could deceive themselves into thinking that we were in charge, that we had made a difference, that we had created a Christian culture.”
Here’s the truth that many of us saw coming, many of us may long to return to, but it is our current reality: “we live in a post-Constantinian, post-Christian culture.”
Now, it’s not enough to love the sinner and hate the sin, but it many instances society wants us to embrace the sin as well.
Here’s what Vassar says:
This atmosphere is only going to grow increasingly more hostile. Christians need too fight to preserve and protect the religious freedoms of all people, but we need not fight to bring back Christendom or to gain a place of privilege. We don’t need to long for the “good ole days,” because in many ways those days were not good. They were a smokescreen for the real status of nominal Christians. The current cultural context actually provides us a tremendous opportunity to reveal authentic disciples and to recapture the original flavor of discipleship.
I’ve maintained for some time now that a little persecution would do the church good.
Somebody help me understand how a control burn works.
There was a time in our history where business leaders were coached to join a local church so that it would help the business grow. But the truth about conversion that Jesus taught, that you die to self and to this world, doesn’t always align with your “best life now.”
How does cultural Christianity feed our glory hunger?
Let’s remember a lesson or two we’ve learned from Peter so far: 1Pe1:1 “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ: To those chosen, living as exiles dispersed abroad in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, chosen”
While we are running around worrying about our comfort and approval in the here and now, here comes this bombshell of a reminder: this world is not our home.