On the heels of my last post, I began thinking about something else and let’s see if I can flesh it out a bit.
I believe what we are seeing in the modern day church is a convergence of leaders capitulating to culture and a lack of understanding amongst believers as to what historical and classical Christianity actually *is*. Relegated to the pages of systematic theology books or perhaps espoused once a year at a special Sunday service, the fundamental tenants of the ancient church universal and the modern day Protestant Reformation are nearly forgotten in the local church.
The Apostles Creed, the Ten Commandments, The Lord’s Prayer are held as relics that we might recite to make us feel nostalgic for a time past, but we don’t treat them as the bedrocks of what we say we believe. Why is it that so much of the Evangelical and Protestant mainline churches act as if Christianity started with Billy Graham? No offense against Mr. Graham – in fact, I think he would say the same thing. We preach from pulpits like what we are enduring is new, like our generation is all of a sudden more enlightened than the centuries prior, and like we have new and more evolved theology that puts to rest the ancient patriarchy that only served to hold everyone in bondage. It’s literally historical amnesia. I’ve written about this before here, so you can tell it’s been on my mind.
When we don’t understand where the roots of Christianity were planted, why Jesus came, what He stood for, and how He told us to live, we can not be moored to anything other than our current convictions, which we all know are a ball of confusion. We must go back. We must know why it is important to believe in sanctification, the Trinity, original sin, the crucifixion, the resurrection and ascension, judgement and grace. We must catechize our children – not with powdery photos of Noah’s Ark but with meaty truth about the fall of man and our inherent need for a loving Savior. We need more than just the moral therapeutic gospel that we have been sold for the last 70 years.
Let’s start going deep into this Christian walk – anything else will leave us vulnerable and exposed to the deceptive whims of our present moment. (Might I suggest an exceptional book by JI Packer? It’s simple, yet profound, and a well-spring of truth regarding tenants of classical Christianity.)