The Greatest Problem with Christian Teaching Today

The greatest problem with Christian teaching today is the training of the mind independent of the call to action. Even when action is demanded it is demanded is such a way as to validate ones abstract thinking and intentions as the only “action” required. The examples are many but it should suffice to cite one.

Take for example when one is confronted with a moral demand. The typical response of a Christian today is to make a confession of faith in the face of a moral challenge. But when one is confronted with sin God does not seek a confession of faith from his children but a resolve to act in agreement with His commands. “If you love Christ you will keep His commandments,” John reminds his readers again and again (1 John). “Keeping” a command is not a confession of faith but the resolution to “keep” the command. James reminds us that even the demons are capable of making a doctrinal confession (“you believe there is one God, you do well, the demons also believe and tremble”). What separates the child of God from a non-believer, or even a demon, is not his or her confession but their choice to act upon the grace to obey given to them by Christ.

If all that is required of a disciple of Christ is that he/she believes that Jesus is Lord then discipleship amounts to little more than a rational commitment to a list of doctrinal beliefs exempt from enactment. This is tantamount to the great ancient heresy of Docetism, which held that Jesus was a spirit that only appeared to have a physical body. Docetism was an intricate ingredient of Gnosticism. Today Docetism has been remade to apply to humans. Many Christians imagine that a Christian is one who is one intellectually or rationally without any reference to ones life in the material world. Essentially, humans become spirits who only appear to have a body of flesh, at least in any practical sense as touching the faith.

For Christian teaching to return to its true function – to inform the believer of how to live as a Christian – our Christian messages must traverse the field of ethics; be drawn from its fortified bunker of abstract thinking and laid bare in the battlefield of life.

Just some thoughts. Cheers.

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