Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Close to the Edge of Christianity

How far afield can one live and still be considered a Christian? How close to the church's standards of whatever denomination you find yourself a part of do you have to adhere to and still feel part of the inner group? Each person has to answer that for themselves. Of course, sometimes what you feel is appropriate may not be in tune with what most of your church group agrees with.

I've visited churches or spoken with members off-site who feel that the New Age movement is acceptable to Christians of a specific faith. Others feel that believing devoutly in God can be held side-by-side with a strong belief that humanity is a product of evolution. Still others believe that they can live with someone out-of-wedlock and still find it all right to beCheck Spelling active in their local church group.

I am in no way making any value judgments on any of the cases I cite here, but I wonder just how close to the edge of Christianity one can go and still enjoy an authentic relationship with Christ and with other Christians?

Of course, if ever one feels that one is no longer a part of or accepted by a certain group, there are other groups to choose from. The problem arises when one is convinced that there is only one group that gives one true satisfaction when approaching God or Christ. In that case one can try other congregations within the same banner church that one just has to hold onto.

Through the years I have encountered--either in print or through social contacts--people who dabbled in some unusual areas while still considering themselves Christians. Some of these are now considered less shocking than they may have been years earlier. No vital organism, Christian communities included, stays static for very long. If it does it risks experiencing a gradual death.

How dynamic is your church or how alive is your Christian experience? What could you do without going over the edge to ensure that your Christian experience or group-involvement is constantly progressing for the better?

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