Thursday, July 25, 2013

What is Christianity?

Is Christianity a being system or a belief system? Or are those two descriptions locked in a symbiotic relationship? Or better still are they Siamese twins? Or are they the very same in God’s eyes?


Anonymous said...

Well, I'm definitely being challenged this week. Much to think on with this question.

There are things we can't ever understand and one example is how Wonderful and Mysterious God, the Father is. I could never wrap my brain around the fact that He always existed. When I was young, I used to ask myself how did God begin? How was He created or how could God never have a beginning and how can He be everlasting? This is hard to grasp for us; we can never understand the supernatural element with our limited understanding here on earth. It's too much to bear and makes me realize how magnificent and awesome and fearful the Lord is. I then realize how incredible the whole plan of salvation for us is and that this Creator, our heavenly Everlasting Father, who is infinite and always Was can be terrifying at the same time.

The world can try to define christianity, but our small minds can only grasp a tiny part of God's plan to send His only Begotten Son to save us. Calling christianity a religion just doesn't do it just service. One thing that we do, as carnal humans, is forget so easily. The church becomes high-minded and acts very self-righteously, but forgets that we are not worthy to even lift our eyes to heaven; we failed God and He still loved us; the God who created the universe, which scientists say is infinite, where they can't see where it ends and where it began, wants to live in us? This again is sometimes too much to comprehend. The church loses sight on how Mighty God is and demotes Jesus, the Son of God, down to our level. He is exploited and used to justify greed and is made to appear like an ordinary man and we hear pastors talk about Him like He's one of us. I've even heard self-proclaimed christians use terms when they speak in public, about some politician needing a "Come to Jesus moment". This is appalling and disrespectful. The church doesn't treat the Son of God with the reverence He deserves. Even I sometimes make light when we discuss the things of God, and I have to remind myself not to, because His holiness is not something to speak lightly of.

Sorry, I keep promising to write short posts and can't stop.


michael said...

Yes, I'd say both if you mean Siamese twins to be the same as conjoined twins?


Because the definition of the "gift" of eternal life is both knowing the only True God and Him who He sent and being united to them by the same power and work of the Holy Spirit.

There are two Greek words that sheds light on this.

The first is used only once in the New Testament found at Romans 6:5, (united):

Transliteration: symphytos
Pronunciation: sü'm-fü-tos
Part of Speech: adjective
Root Word (Etymology): from G4862 and a derivative of G5453
Outline of Biblical Usage:
1) born together with, of joint origin
a) connate, congenital, innate, implanted by birth or nature
2) grown together, united with
3) kindred

And the second Greek word found only twice in the New Testament at Ephesians 2:5, Colossians 2:13 (made alive together):

Transliteration: syzōopoieō
Pronunciation: sü-zō-o-poi-e'-ō
Part of Speech: verb
Root Word (Etymology): from G4862 and G2227
Outline of Biblical Usage:
1) to make one alive together
a) of Christians, with Christ

Notice the essence of being and believing here:

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever. And he said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. And the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent his angel to show his servants what must soon take place.” (Revelation 22:1-6 ESV)

Anonymous said...

Am still thinking about this.

One thought I got this morning - there is nothing can can come between us and Jesus Christ, if we abide in Him. I was listening to worship music last night and thinking how wonderful it is for the brethren to worship together. The thought that no doctrine, no ministry, no christian brother or sister's scriptural opinions, no bible translations, should have any effect on me when I want to worship Him.

I've wondered before why I had such a hard time these past few years in completely putting my mind on Him. It's the distractions of voices that I've allowed to overwhelm me. While discussing and searching and reading and learning and hearing teachings is very good, I have to learn to put it all on a shelf before I pray. If I had been Abraham, roaming in the desert, and had no church, no doctrine, no teacher, no foundation, no crowds telling me, "do this, don't do that", I think I would have thirsted and wanted to commune with the true God also. I think we all would feel the same.

If Abraham had no "qualifications" or membership before seeking the Lord, so can we. No emotional music in the background to get people all weepy. Just asking the Lord to abide with me.

I've come to the realization for myself, that I can't DEPEND on anyone anymore to take my hand and lead me to Christ Jesus. I have to mature and do it myself and put all those distractions on the back burner and live as though there are no people in this world, when I close my eyes, and pray and talk to Him.

My version of "christianity" (as a religion) has changed. It was never about the church system we see today; it's all about us, with the Word, running to Him and allowing Him to manifest Himself with His presence as we praise Him and worship Him. I have to put away all cares of this world, and church-speak down on the ground first, then worship Him.


Rick Frueh said...

The purest worship comes when you see yourself as infinitely in need and you see Jesus as infinitely glorified. If we worship through the lens of our own doctrine we add self righteousness to our worship.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Michael. Loved that.

One more thought. I'll confess something I learned about myself. I may have been programmed somewhat when I was in a legalistic Jesus Name Only church for 10 years. It's been 10 years out, but I still get this warm fuzzy familiarity sensation when I hear them sing, or preach. It was the familiarity though that kept me still believing they had a point to many of their views. As a child, I always wanted to be like the Amish, or Mennonites, because the world never really offered much to me personally and because I was bullied at school, I embraced living in a supportive community of all like-minded believers.

But, even so, I'm learning that I'm hanging on to a carnal image of purity or holy living. I confess I've had a hard time being in churches where the women wear mini-skirts, leggings and heavy make-up. I know God sees through the heart and I don't judge them. I know we all live in a superficial culture and I fight superficiality as much as the next girl, every day. But, I still put these holiness christians up on a pedestal, in my heart. This is what I've been dealing with........trying to get that brainwashed feeling out. I feel like the church wants to split in two; either go all the way in legalistic appearances of holiness and OT leanings, or go all the way left and look like the world, act like the world, and permit the superficial entrapment of cosmetic surgeries, alterations, nip and tucks, public voices, ministry traveling, and endless need to have 15 minutes of fame.

I don't see the middle ground, or moderation. I'm trying to worship the Lord without the shame of being "part of the world" and/or holding on to a fake holiness. I am sooooooo disillusioned about everything. Can't turn left and can't turn right. And christians turning on each other today is more than I sometimes can bear.

Am trying to work through this - and the Word says confession is good for the soul. Love you all!


Anonymous said...

Thank you Bro. Rick for your response. How you express it so well, "worship through the lens of our own doctrine and self-righteousness" - that's it!! You said it in one sentence what I was trying to say in 3 paragraphs.