Saturday, October 31, 2009

Evaginatical Christians

”…work out your salvation with fear and trembling.”

I cannot say I know for certain what this actually means. Fear as in, being frightened? Are we talking about a servile fear of a slave or a “fear” as a son?…And trembling?! What, seriously? Shivering with fear? Frightened to the point of convulsing?

I understand this better in terms of what it doesn’t mean. It means we are not to explore or search out our “salvation” with pride and arrogance. Ignorance and arrogance go hand-in-hand so I think there should be a degree of awe and wonder – like a child’s – as well as humility and open-mindedness. The only way around ignorance is education – not indoctrination – and the only way to become successfully educated is at the abandonment of arrogance.

Although many Christians have honed their Humility down to an art form, when it comes to issues of Belief that humility and open-mindedness are replaced with a knowledge-filled arrogance. These rigidly-denominational Christians are the modern day Gnostics. Those that unswervingly and unquestionably follow their denomination’s teaching and swear that it is the truth and the right way.

And although I’ve just labeled it ”rigidly-denominational Christians” it manifests itself in other ways also. My favourite are the self-titled ”Bible Christians” who don’t follow denominations or traditions but only the bible… please! They are not different; just a little bit more creative and a little bit more dishonest.

At the end of the day the one thing nearly all Christians have in common is that they believe in the bible. Where they all differ is what it says and means. With so many interpretations and numerous “proper” hermeneutics, and various doctrines and heretical views accepted and denied, it should become obvious that the “answer”, the truth, isn’t so obvious.

In time it become a private issue of being right over pursuing the (T)truth. Then we enter the realm of ulterior agendas and the Evaginatical Christian emerges. (And no, I didn't mistype Evangelical but specifically meant to type Evaginatical from the word "evaginate").

Something else is being sold, either instead of, or alongside of, or on condition of the truth. They have done worse than turn it inside-out. They have evaginated it; they have turned it outside-in. There are those on the outside and there are those clearly on the inside.

A real church should be composed of the dregs and miscreants of society; the true sinners. It should include non-believers and those that question and struggle and fight and doubt.

You know what? Maybe the church of “True Believers” sitting in their pews, singing their hymns, safely tucked between their church’s walls, bound by their unspoken rules and regulations of what you should and shouldn’t do and can and cannot be, is a great idea!

Maybe they should be quarantined off. I can’t think of a better way of stopping the spread of this evagination; of this marketed corporate mentality.

I don’t mean to advocate being an Agnostic Christian (in the sense that ”we can never attain the truth so let’s just give up” - to be perpetually ignorant) but that we should strive to be a Disciple, and by that I mean a perpetual student. Always learning, our focus on continual growth, not continual stagnation.

The real questions we much each individually and before God ask ourselves are, Am I only following what I’ve been taught but never questioned it? Am I following my priest, or minister, or pastor? Have I looked outside of my quarantined world? Am I following my belief-mechanism or God?

Am I spiritually in motion in my faith, or am I static in my belief?

Am I a member of The Quarantined Church?

If not, then what are you? Are you a fringe-dweller, existing on the outer frayed edge? Are you a mouse living between the walls of the rooms we call Denominations within God’s house? Or are you living in a spiritual wilderness?

Are you a Wanderer, and if so, are you lost or on a quest?

…or are you an Evaginatical Christian?

Are you turning Christianity inside-out?

If anything, this would be a false gospel.

”…work out your salvation with fear and trembling.”

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