Thursday, November 11, 2004
Repairing, Reforming or Repainting?
Is it possible that many who think of themselves as "progressive" within their own religious tradition are simply rushing to emulate the mistakes of other denominations? I know I may sound like an "old-shcool conservative" here, but trust me I'm going somewhere completely different. I run in fairly progressive circles inside the churches of Christ (the use of "progressive" and "churches of Christ" in the same sentance just caused uncontrollable laughter in some readers from other traditions), and it seems to me that what some of my contemporaries are really saying is "what we really want to be is a Baptist Church from the early '90's" (though they obviously wouldn't phrase it that way.) Now, I have nothing against Baptists (indeed their tradition has enriched my faith and taught me countless things about God), I just think they are in the same kind of boat we are, alghough it might be painted a different color. Most mainline denominations seem to be suffering from the same root problems: a self-centerd gospel (which isn't acutally good news at all), a slick marketing version of evangelism, and the unnoticed blinders of modernity. Until these issues are addressed and changed, anything else we are doing is simply repainting a ship with a broken mast.