A New/Old Kind of Christian

9 01 2009

  I have been tired and frustrated because I have been struggling with what to do now that I am not part of a church group. 

 Back in November,  I asked my wife if she was done dealing with the crap  at the church we held membership.  She had been  not attending worship and other events, I was getting bored too.  We had helped to start a second worship community, going on the “if you do another service, they will come” thing, which never works anymore.   We had been teaching our own children, three girls, about God, Jesus and what it means to live in Christ.   

For the past three years, I’ve had to teach myself through many books and other sources outside of the Methodist tradition to really understand what God is doing in the world.    I focused entirely on what it means to be Jesus in today’s culture.   I was so focused on learning again who he was that I didn’t read anything else but the four gospels.

Today, after reading a post from Frank Viola, I read two of the letters from Paul.  Now I have had problems with Paul, because I know too many Christians who just go on HIS works to be “Christian”.    I always though that Paul’s letters were too moralistic.  Any teaching that I learned off these always made me feel that I could never live up to Paul’s moral standards.  But I realized that I was reading these letters the wrong way.   I needed to read these not as historical text, moral list, and let it be a letter for me, from the past.

For those of you who have left the Institutional Church, I recommend reading Colossians from a version that has no numbering of the verses. 

I used “The Message” because it’s in speak that I understand. 

I have been asking God what to do and a small passage  touched my heart, soul, and mind. 

 “You know your way around the faith.  Now do what you’ve been taught.  School’s out; quit studying the subject and start living it!”

I cried.  I feel like I have been given permission to really live life.So my studies are done, and I can just live now.  I have to not practice it, but do it. 

 

For me living life to the fullest means to get up everyday and enjoy it.  There will be hardships, but God is there through all of it.  He is here, right now.   No alter call, no great flash of lighting, just the kind words of a former murderer of Christians from the past saying to me:  “GO FOR BROKE!”

Here’s another phrase that inspired me:

“The Messiah has made things up between us so that we’re now together on this, both non-Jewish outsiders, and Jewish insiders. He tore down the wall we used to keep each other at a distance. He repealed the law code that had become so clogged with fine print and footnotes that it hindered more than it helped.  Then he started over.  Instead of continuing with two groups of people separated by centuries of animosity and suspicion, he created a new kind of human being, a fresh start for everybody.” (Ephesians)

So what do I do now?  Most IC’s have blinders to this and I know that I can’t get people to listen in an IC that I grew up in.  

I think this is what would work:

 I would like to find others who are willing to help each other out.  To realize that we are all connected and those that have more will help those that have less.  Find those that want to start a community that will do more that drive to the meeting hall once or twice a week and be willing to live in a house together, sharing all that we have.  I am willing to teach others about what it means to follow Jesus and live life as He does.    To pass on what I have learned to someone that needs to know this.  For this is real living.  Depending on each other for greater understanding of God EVERY DAY. 

Steven Curtis Chapman has a great song called “Declaration of Dependence”  

And I know this is how my life was meant to be

I was made for this dependency”.

This is a New/Old type of Christian.   Not only do we depend on God, but that Spirit of God that is in each and everyone of us. We have not see this type of Christian in a long time.  I know that I can do this.   But I do need others to do it.  Perhaps it will only be my immediate family that this needs to be done with, but I think that God has something bigger in mind than just the 5 of us.

That is the next part of my life.     My adventure is just beginning.

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2 responses

9 01 2009
Perry Hansen

Steven,

Thank you for sharing!

The verse you quoted, “You know your way around the faith. Now do what you’ve been taught. School’s out; quit studying the subject and start living it!” was awesome! Sounds a lot like, “Walk the walk, not talk the talk”.

Like you, I am just beginning too. My former IC pastor always said, “The adventure is in the go”. As you “go”, enjoy the adventure!

I look forward to hearing how freeing your life will become.

24 06 2009
sendacow

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I think we should all worship how we see fit! At the christian charity send a cow, We have created a worship resources document-http://www.sendacow.org.uk/churches – We’ve included prayers, hymns, readings and suggestions for children’s activities that you can adapt to suit you I hope you like it 🙂 God bless x

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