Before I carry forward into my discussion of the nature of authentic Christianity, I want to link to a couple of posts in which I have discussed my view of what Christianity is. I wish to do this near the beginning, because I will be making a number of statements about what Christianity is not, and it’s easy in such a situation to define oneself by what one opposes rather than by what one supports.
Christianity is not totally unified. That is an understatement, of course. But while I would like us to be more courteous and open in the way in which we approach one another, I don’t believe it is essential that we be identical in order to be unified. Thus I can object to the behavior of other Christians, or disagree with them on points of doctrine without also regarding them as outcasts. The feeling may even be mutual.
Not all doctrines are equal. I’m more concerned with someone’s belief on the incarnation, for example, than I am with their beliefs on baptism. I’m more interested in their commitment to the two laws (love God, love your neighbor) than I am about their orthodoxy on the trinity, though I am a fully orthodox trinitarian myself, to the best of my knowledge.
So here are a few posts on Christian unity and diversity to provide an anchor point before I go talking about how different we are and how much we have changed and even should change. They are in order from oldest to most recent.
- Unity, Diversity, and Confusion
- Christian Essentials – Incarnation at the Center
- Diversity, Tent Ropes, and Tent Pegs
- Doctrine and Reality – The Need for Balance
- Excessively Large Tent = Crash
- Fighting the Devil or Suppressing the Mind
. . . and just for fun Only Evil People Disagree with Me!
I’ll refer back to these as necessary.