Why does the Church cling to its Medieval mindset? This is a serious question. Nothing has changed since the Reformation. Sure, church looks somewhat different and we bandy about a few different terms, but all in all it’s basically the same and is facing all of the same issues. What Bible is best? What should worship look like? What types of music are acceptable, if any? What are the sacraments? When is the proper day of the week to worship? There is absolutely nothing new under the sun.
I, personally, have a severe problem with this sameness. Theology has not progressed as a whole since that time, either. There have been some astute theologians to be sure, but even these men have essentially commented on and spun the ideas of their predecessors. The theological arguments have largely been based on the ideas of the giants of the past. There is nothing new. It has not developed and grown up as it should. The Church has become that proverbial dead horse that we continually kick with expectations of it rising up to carry us to a new and greater destination. It’s high time for a new horse.
I am not sure what that even means but I do know that living things grow and change. The Church looks different in many places but it has merely been dressed up differently. Truly. Attend a Reformed style church with its religiously attended to order of worship and then attend a typical Charismatic or Pentecostal style church. The services will seem and even “feel” different as they emphasize separate ends of the theological spectrum (The former emphasizes the intellect while the latter emphasizes the spirit) the order of worship is almost identical. There has been no real change since the Reformation.
Living things change and grow and mature. The Church is the same. People are leaving it in droves. It’s theology is stagnant at best and often poisonous. Tillichian panentheism devastated the mainline churches in the twentieth century as dispensationalism is poisoning evangelical churches in this century. Our horse is dead and it’s time we stopped kicking it and found a new one.
What is to be done? Firstly, we have to admit the demise of our Church. Please note that I have not said that faith has disappeared just that those institutions which we rely upon for direction and guidance in our faith, is defunct, deceased, dead.
Secondly, I believe that we must examine and decide upon the absolute essentials of the Christian Faith. These will be the skeleton upon which we may, with His help and guidance, build a Church that is holy and acceptable to God.
In subsequent posts, I will be reviewing the Essentials of Christian Faith as put forward in previous posts. I will add my current thoughts and suggestions, and hopefully readers will aid this process with comments and suggestions. I sincerely pray that such will be the case because this is absolutely not about me.