A New Kind of Christianity
Clch   -  

May 2024

A New Kind of Christianity

This past week, I explained to our “Prospective Member Class” that I am a big proponent of the Emergent Christian movement. Some people call it Progressive Christianity, or Adaptive Christianity. It’s a new kind of Christianity!

I like the title, “Emergent” because it represents a plant emerging from the soil of American Christianity that has been traditionally conservative and literalistic. For me, this Emergent Christianity, is life-giving and fits well within my worldview.

One of our prospective new members, Earl Wismer shared with the class a quote that I will treasure for the rest of my life.

Change is sometimes desirable,

Frequently necessary,

And always inevitable.

This reminds me of the Buddhist principle of Impermanence. Everything changes. Nothing stays the same. All things, everything, changes. It is inevitable.

It’s happening in Christianity today! Change has always been a part of Christianity since the very beginning. The European Reformation of the 1500’s was a MAJOR change, and some biblical scholars are proclaiming we are in the beginning era of another seismic shift. Christianity has always changed and will continue to change.

Emergent Christianity principles are well captured in the web site, “The Center for Progressive Christianity”, www.ProgressiveChristianity.org. If you relate to my blogs or sermons know that they are informed from the Eight Points, you will read about on that web site. These Eight Points of this new Emergent Christianity are the energy and ideas spawning this New Kind of Christianity in America.

A church slogan I use, “At Christ Lutheran we don’t want you to check your brains at the door” expresses a very important aspect of the Emergent Church. Faith can and needs to make sense for people. Faith does not have to be UNBELIEVABLE. I often say, “I can’t get my heart to accept anything my mind rejects.” Mental gymnastics, and jumping hurdles or twisting Bible passages in order to believe the dogma of the “Church”, has become a shallow endeavor for me. As Steve Jobs told a college graduation, “Dogma is someone else’s thinking”. I want people to think for themselves within  a community of faith, and be challenged to question, think and grow.

An atmosphere of growth, the belief in an evolving faith journey, and a non-judgmental community, frees us to move around in our thinking and beliefs. We can explore questions and dilemmas with our beliefs while listening to others’ struggles with the same teachings. That for me, is a healthy faith community that I want to help create.

I believe God appreciates the sincerity of the struggle. We might not all come to the same conclusions, but it’s in the struggle with the questions, that I grow and mature.

This New Kind of Christianity is centered on love and justice. Loving God, Loving others, and working to create a world that is just for all people. I do not think Jesus was concerned in a need to believe in the Trinity, or the virgin birth. Does Jesus care if I do not believe in the inerrancy of scripture, or the literal, seven-day creation story?

Jesus cares if I am growing at loving all people! Working to create a just and equal playing field for all people, matters to Jesus.

This is what Christ Lutheran Church is to me. Come Join the Journey.