Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Changes Christianity needs

I have had some recent ponderings on the course of Christianity. There are many things we do well, but there are definitely some theological stances that wee need a better grasp on. Having just finished a short series on Immigration, I plan to change genres and do a series covering several of these necessary changes in the thinking of Christians.

Today, I had a snow day and decided with my wife to join her in some of her classes today. I have already completed my B.A. in Biblical Studies, but it is amazing how much is still out there to learn. In the Sociology of Religion class, they discussed the process in the development of a religion when the adherents recognize the holiness of their object of worship. The final point in their development is an admiration and intimacy with the object of worship.

Christians and Jews went through this same process. We recognized the holiness of God when he gave his law to Moses and forbade anyone to worship anything above him or to make anything in his image. In other words, he said that there was nothing and no one like him, and to treat anything as such would be a supreme insult. Then we progressed and have realized that we have an intimacy with him because we were made in his image and he sent his Son to dwell among us.

The change I would like to see in Christianity is that we do not lose sight of the first steps of this process. In our intimacy with God, we have lost some of the distinction between Creator and creation. The first sin of mankind came when the serpent tempted Eve with the prospect of being like the Creator. When we blur the line and think that anything compares to God, we insult God infinitely. There is nothing like our Creator.

The history of the word "awesome" originates with the purpose of recognizing God with fear. In the end of Ecclesiastes, the author concludes that nothing in life is worthwhile except that we fear God and keep his commands. Only when we recognize the awesome power of God can we seek "the sole purpose of man," the absolute, terrifying fear of him.

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