CHRIST IN WINTER: Reflections on Faith for the Years of Winter… ©
One of the problems of Christianity today is the unchurched fundamentalist, folks who have been born again, and think that is enough, and so are prey to any charlatan, religious or political, who gives them a shallow cup from which to drink some kool-aid.
Of course, churched fundamentalists are a problem, too, if the church is shallow, and in the service of charlatans, religious or political, and so only enforces the prejudices of those who wish to exclude all but the “true believers.” It used to be that fundamentalist Christians despised non-fundamentalist Christians the most, but in these latter times, fundamentalists despise fundamentalists from other churches most because true believers cannot stand other true believers who disagree with them.
And the unchurched fundamentalists just rattle around.
I saw a documentary on Billy Graham recently. I have come to appreciate him in more ways than I used to, but his biggest flaw remains. He gave the impression that conversion was all that was necessary. He gave lip-service to church, saying that people ought to be part of a church, to be able to continue to grow in faith, but he did almost nothing about it.
Learning to be a trapeze artist, or a lion tamer, or even a clown, takes a lot of work. If someone tells us that just going into the big top and watching is enough, we are more than glad to accept the idea that there is nothing more to the circus than sitting on the bleachers and clapping.
John Wesley had something to say about this, in his Journal of R, Aug. 25, 1763, he says:
“I was more convinced than ever, that the preaching like an apostle, without joining together those that are awakened, and training them up in the ways of God, is only begetting children for the murderer. How much preaching has there been for these twenty years all over Pembrokeshire! But no regular societies, no discipline, no order or connection; and the consequence is, that nine in ten of the once-awakened are now faster asleep than ever.”
Yes, you can be a good person without being a Christian, and you can be a Christian without belonging to a church, but you can’t be a Christian without being part of the Body of Christ, however that is expressed, and we’ll be better people if we learn to put up with one another as we work together toward fuller citizenship in God’s world.
John Robert McFarland
I tweet as yooper1721.
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