New Idea of "church"


#1

I need help! I’ve run across a friend who says he travels “light” theologically. “As long as you love Jesus,” he’s happy. He accepts a Sacramental system can be right. He thinks the Catholic Church is right on so many issues – even watches EWTN and loves Father Benedict Groeschel! He was raised Protestant and remains so because he thinks that there is truth in all religious structures and he’s comfortable, tolerant, non-judgmental and just wants to love his neighbor in his own way and is quite happy with you loving your neighbor in your way!

Here’s an article he read recently and thinks it describes him totally. I think it describes me, too, to a point but I can’t quite put my finger on why it’s “off.” It’s a new idea of “church” that smacks of New Age and Moral Relativism but I’m not exactly sure how or why.

I would appreciate your review of the article and your help in discerning how to talk to my friend.

barna.org/FlexPage.aspx?Page=BarnaUpdateNarrow&BarnaUpdateID=201

SouthernSister


#2

I think the prediction is quite on target, and I think it has its roots in the same human predilection that caused the Reformation, and the dissent in the Catholic Church in recent decades. That is rejection of authority, rejection of the entire notion that God would choose a human-led institution or hierarchy to mediate His authority on earth. From that springs the fundamental underpinning of dissent, the rejection of the entire notion of community, that Christ’s saving action (perpetuated on Earth as Catholics believe in the sacramental economy) forms a community of believers, the Body of Christ. This results in the quest for an individual spirituality devoid of humility, obedience and regard for others except as vehicles to express one’s “passions” for social justice or other endeavors. Since at its heart this mentality rejects the message and mission of Jesus Christ it is fundamentally anti-Christian. Among self-identified Catholics movements such as We are Church and Call to Action exemplify this erroneous thought process, and ultimately result in a Church devoid of Christ.


#3

[quote=puzzleannie]I think the prediction is quite on target, and I think it has its roots in the same human predilection that caused the Reformation, and the dissent in the Catholic Church in recent decades. That is rejection of authority, rejection of the entire notion that God would choose a human-led institution or hierarchy to mediate His authority on earth. From that springs the fundamental underpinning of dissent, the rejection of the entire notion of community, that Christ’s saving action (perpetuated on Earth as Catholics believe in the sacramental economy) forms a community of believers, the Body of Christ. This results in the quest for an individual spirituality devoid of humility, obedience and regard for others except as vehicles to express one’s “passions” for social justice or other endeavors. Since at its heart this mentality rejects the message and mission of Jesus Christ it is fundamentally anti-Christian. Among self-identified Catholics movements such as We are Church and Call to Action exemplify this erroneous thought process, and ultimately result in a Church devoid of Christ.
[/quote]

I agree with puzzleannie on this. I would pay particular attention to this from the article you linked:

“There is the danger of exposure to unbiblical or heretical teaching. There is the possibility of experiencing isolation from a true community of believers and the accountability and support that can provide. It could become easier to hoard one’s treasures rather than giving generously. Some might find it more difficult to sustain a life of worship without a place or means of expressing that praise to God.”

This lukewarm approach your friend has with his own Christian faith might be good for him now, but it really isn’t the essence of Christ’s teachings - very self-centered, if you ask me.


#4

Kind of like changing:

“Pick up your cross and follow Me”

to

“Leave your cross there, we can get it later… maybe”


#5

How does that smack of relativism, you ask? Because it is relativism.

Quotation from article:

One of the hallmarks of the Revolution of faith is how different it is for each person.

But faith is one thing. Even when faith is deluded, it must be seeking after some TRUTH. If faith is not seeking after a truth, that is as true for anybody else as it is for me, then it is not faith.

What you’re talking about isn’t belief, but understanding. And understanding is important. But standing is important too. If you don’t stand for something, you are liable to fall for anything.

Ephesians 4:

Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.


#6

[quote=SouthernSister]I need help! I’ve run across a friend who says he travels “light” theologically. “As long as you love Jesus,” he’s happy. He accepts a Sacramental system can be right. He thinks the Catholic Church is right on so many issues – even watches EWTN and loves Father Benedict Groeschel! He was raised Protestant and remains so because he thinks that there is truth in all religious structures and he’s comfortable, tolerant, non-judgmental and just wants to love his neighbor in his own way and is quite happy with you loving your neighbor in your way!

Here’s an article he read recently and thinks it describes him totally. I think it describes me, too, to a point but I can’t quite put my finger on why it’s “off.” It’s a new idea of “church” that smacks of New Age and Moral Relativism but I’m not exactly sure how or why.

I would appreciate your review of the article and your help in discerning how to talk to my friend.

barna.org/FlexPage.aspx?Page=BarnaUpdateNarrow&BarnaUpdateID=201

SouthernSister
[/quote]

Fabulous replies! Thank you so much!

SS


#7

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