Friday, May 12, 2006

21st Century Christianity and Jesus

After an intriguing converstaion with a few friends [Jeff/Blake/Korrin] in an 'unnamed location' in the PEG... and spending some time reflecting on the movie Kingdom of Heaven. I have a nagging question... Is there a distinction between 21st Century Chrsitianity and Jesus Christ? In my dialogues with those who are not 'christian' I have discovered that people seem to say there is a very remarkable difference. Thoughts???


Boomer said...

I wont say too much because I haven't seen the movie so I'm not sure exactly where you're going, but I think there is a serious distiction. Many times we look more like what "good church people" are "supposed" to look like, and less like Jesus. At the same time, I think Jesus may be widely misunderstood in general so this distinction is on simewhat of a floating scale.

Jeremy Postal said...

I'll bite.

First, it isn't at all very suprising that a non-Jesus follower would say that there is a remarkable difference. It is very likely that a 'not christian' is going to know less about the historical Jesus then a christian and even less about the living Jesus of today. What is suprising to me is the thought that b/c a non-Christian is a non-Chirstian they somehow have the ability or non-biased eyes to peer into a then/now Christ-centered spirituality. I don't think they do.

Second, is there a distinction between 21st century christianity and Jesus? No doubt there is. Just as there was a distinction between 40AD or 67AD christianity.

There is a thread that does bring Jesus and us together though; Acts 1:1 when speaking of the gospel Luke speaks of 'all that Jesus began to do and teach' which imply's that Acts is 'all that Jesus is continuing to do and teach'. We **cough cough** share in that story of "all that Jesus continues to do and teach."

I would suggest that maybe the more prying question asks, 'Where is Jesus in our history and where is Jesus in our today?' It may lead us to some suprising findings.

Wish I could have been privy to the unnamed location!

Mark said...

The deeper question I am trying to point too is that if in the first century [Antioch to be exact] people who were followers fo Jesus were named 'Christians' because they were 'like Jesus' [or for some they were seen with Him.] These people were identified by others as followers of Christ... Are we still identified as ones who have been seen with Him? Could I be a 'not Christian' and still be a follower of Christ? Is Chrstianity the only way to the Kingdom?

Paul & Wanda Moores said...

There will always be a distinction. Because Christian-ity is a reflection of Christians who are human.

Just recently I heard sad news about a friend in ministry who has sidelined himself because of some poor choices. I wonder if his congregation would think there is a distinction between the Christanity there leader lead them in and Jesus?

Anonymous said...

If there is a distinction then xians would be in danger of false teaching and hypocrisy. Does not Christendom claim that it is the only way to God? From what I understand in Scripture Jesus Christ is the only way to God... but has not Christianity become the gatekeeper??? Seems that might be a problem of false doctrine/hypocrisy.

M. A. Hawkins said...

I just watched that movie again last night and left with some of those nagging questions myself. A side note: There was one line that Bloom had about the prayers of the Muslims, "Praise be to our God." and Bloom responded with "Are our prayers much different?" The movie has some interesting debates within it, that I feel we should take a longer look at.
As for "Christians" yesterday, today and tomorrow... there has to be a difference, a remarkable one no doubt. I was left puzzled with one passage from Acts where John and Peter were in the synagogue and the officials there stated that they knew these men had been with Jesus. Can people say that of me? Peter and John were longer with Jesus in human form, but allowed Jesus to live on in spirit. Maybe the question is: Do we allow the Spirit of Jesus to live on through us or are we too busy trying to look like what we think Christians are like?

Mark said...

Frankly I look at myself and I know there are many people who are 'not christian' but they live their lives by kingdom principles far more than I do.

Jeremy Postal said...

The question was asked, "Can someone be a 'not-Christian' and still be a follower of Jesus?"

I would say yes.

But I could only say yes if we can agree that "all truth belongs to God/all truth is Gods truth" What happens, if we were to subscribe to such a thought, is that anyone (no matter what religious background) who discovers and follows some tiny tidbit of truth has now discovered some bit of God and is a follower of God. Does this make sense?

So.....truthfully speaking....there are potentially many many more followers of Jesus then conventional wisdom would tell us. Maybe the next question then asks about something to do with our redemptive theology/soteriology? Just a thought.

M. A. Hawkins said...

Well maybe this is where the sinners prayer kicks in? I mean it should have its place here... Jesus prayed it... oh wait, I mean Paul prayed it... oh wait, I forget who actually said the sinners prayer in the Bible.
I think you're right Jer, maybe we do need to look at our redemptive theology/soteriology.
I think where Jeremy and Mark are going are right. I think there are a lot of people out there who Christians have counted "lost" when in fact they are probably more "found" than you or I.

Mark said...

I do not necessarily question a sound soteriology but I think its morphed in recent times into a 'sorry tearology' a Lack of understanding of the Kingdom and who is in and out... maybe a plausible pluralism is acceptable?

Jeremy Postal said...

Mark, when you have a moment, could you unpack this a bit for me?? Thanks yo!

jeffro said...

mark doesnt have moments.

he has...............

so many freaking questions.

its good..

pomos are manic.


Junah said...

Everyone is human. Christians can easily (and do) fall in the same ways they always have. I think Christianity is the same as in the past in that respect. I think the messages to the churches in Revelation can put things into context.

I would say that more relavent would be the differences between Christians in different parts of the world today.