There are somethings that should be defined for us solidly in our own mind. Things that must be defined to allow us to grow in our life of faith without clouding uncertainty.
Let me address something that we should not be confused about:
Progress of Christianity.
In my opinion, Christianity should only progress insofar as we are personally growing in our walk with and trust in Christ. In other words relationship growth.
I’m getting confused by people talking about “the progress of christianity”… as if you can “upgrade”!
Perhaps it has to do with people thinking of Christianity as an organization/career….?
Or like a clan/tribe/gang overtaking the world…
Or perhaps people are confused with what the definition is.
Or maybe its both. One leading to the other.
Definition of Christianity: becoming more christlike ; in life due to your walk/relationship with Christ.
Christian: Christ follower.
So what’s all this “Progress of Christianity” talk?!?…..meaning progress of following Christ?
That should be the only way its used.
But im pretty sure that people’re using progress, not as in – “move forward or onward in space or time” but as in – “advance or develop toward a better, more complete, or more modern state”
…even that is a bit unclear of what i mean and what i feel people mean when they say “progress”.
Christianity is/should be people meeting Christ and the process of them getting to know Him and following Him.
It’s about relationship.
Not about advancing a more modern state of “Christ” or “religion” to advance your life/happy state of being.
Hearing “progress of christianity” makes me upset.
I feel like people are saying – “the progress of marriage” – “the progress of friendship”….
Doesn’t this make you cringe???
To me that kind of statement seems to have another connotation. It doesn’t make me feel like people are celebrating people growing in Christ, it makes me feel like people are celebrating a movement of christianity which would fit better into the culture, so it’s “happily” easier to get people to accept it and live it; without being ostracized.
Isn’t following Christ gonna make you not belong (at least to an extent)? Isn’t that what Christ said?
In fact every one of the gospels records Jesus saying that we’d be hated because of Him.
Matthew 10:22, 5:11
John 15:18 -27
Aren’t we supposed to be: Not of this world? John 15:19, 18:36
I also struggle with churches making standards and following their standards to the letter. Your standard should never become your savior.
Following your churches beliefs rather than Jesus is dangerous.
Following your idea of Jesus, unchecked against what scripture says, is dangerous.
Living for Christ means sometimes uncomfortableness.
Living for a better version of christianity can be more comfortable, but it is also just that: a “better” version. And not in fact following Christ himself.
Let’s strive to have grace on people who are in the process of their relationship with Christ that may not (at least in our opinion) be where we are in our walk with Christ.
Let’s focus on our progress: how we may or maynot be glorifying God in our daily life.
Let’s also not give into a “progress of christianity” mindset that believes God changes with culture and accepts new things based on how culture is changing and advancing/”moving forward” and forming.
“Religious ideas, arising from a misunderstanding of Scripture, hinder people from entering into close relationship with God.” – Andrew Wommack
“God’s unconditional love is not the same as His unconditional approval of our behavior.” – Christopher Yuan
“My love for [people not following] Christ does not compromise my hate for sin– indeed my hate for sin compels me to love them more just as Christ loved me despite my sin.
This is an “us WITH them” manner by which we recognize that everyone sins and everyone needs a Savior. Let’s present Jesus to them, unapologetically, unwavering and unashamed.”*
Sorry if my ideas are a bit all over the place….i’m still trying to figure out how to formulate my thoughts into cohesive language around my frustration.
Also thanks for your grace with me as i share my thoughts!! =)
Pride fogs our minds from reason, breads contempt and always leads to destruction. -j.reid