Ripening Issues in the Church of Christ – a la carte Christianity

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This is the fourth is a series of five issues facing the church of Christ. For those of you out there who read this blog who are not from the church of Christ thank you for being patient with me. I also wanted to say that this post will have more to say to you than some of the previous ones because this is a much broader issue in Christendom and is not isolated to the church of Christ. A la carte Christianity is when someone decides to mix key tenets and methodology from a variety of religions and roll it all up into one. It is like taking a religious menu and picking a little of this religion and a little of that until you come up with the mix that suits you the best. They want a little of this denomination plus the best of that one. They want to take components of Buddhism or Hinduism and mix that with teachings of Christianity and come up with a “Designer religion.” The basis of this comes from the view that says truth is to be found everywhere and where you find it, claim it (not dissimilar to some of Rob Bell’s material). This can range anywhere from pretty mundane (like Randy Harris trying to learn to pray and meditate more effectively from Buddhists) to outright dangerous (adopting New Age methodologies and systems). This methodology puts self because our choices and tastes become the standard for what we do and how we worship rather than what God has had to say about it.

Postmodern thinking is really giving an impetus to this model of religion. When you throw out foundations and absolutes, anything goes. This can be very much like syncretism, which God criticized and punished his people in the Old Testament for doing. They would mix Baal worship in with Yahweh worship. They would mix festivals and holy days and offerings together from the worship of Baal and Asherah. God didn’t care too much for that and he punished them with exile for it. The whole book of Leviticus was written to teach people that God is approached on His terms and through His methods and not just made up based on what seems good to us.

We will be facing this issue more and more and I think it is important that we raise an awareness of it so we can recognize what it is and why it is happening.

0 Responses

  1. I preached on this very subject this morning. John 14:6 & Acts 4:12 are verses we need to be able to share at a moment’s notice. While postmodernism reacts against & rejects many of the tenets and trappings of the Modern Age, we have to firmly plant a pole that there is a truth out there [BOOM] it’s out there whether you believe in it or not [BOOM] it’s out there whether you even know about it or not! 😉

    Who has the more cartoonish voice? Randy Harris, or Frank Peretti?

    Anyways, the difficulty with this is that we can come off as an old modernistc relic in a postmodern age. We can’t sell modernism to postmoderns no more than someone could sell medievalism to moderns! The trick is embracing the good & rejecting what is wrong — which is what every church in every culture at any time should do. No single culture or school of thought gets it exactly right. God would praise elements of every culture, and God stands in judgment of elements of every culture. It’s just that those elements are rapidly changing all around us.

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