About Me and This Study…

June 4, 2012 — 6 Comments

I want to state up front that I most likely don’t have a complete picture of church history and I’m sure some of my conclusions will go contrary to many of today’s theologians. Especially those with very narrow agendas. I also want to tell you that since there are now 39,000+ different versions of the church of Christ I believe that the church is severely fractured if not broken. But that does not mean that I have given up hope as I definitely see a possibility for great healing.

I come into this study with a strong emphasis on the words of Jesus and on being active in following his examples. I am just not a couch potato Christian.  I believe this is consistent with the early Christians but not so much for the current day church. For me the main crux of this study is to find out when and how the Jesus focus was lost. I am sure there are those who don’t believe that their church denomination ever lost the focus. In some cases that might be true so when it is I apologize in advance for painting with too broad a brush.

Some times, maybe many times, I will drift off subject when I see something in the current media that shows the view of the church from those outside its walls. I think it is vital to see these types of stories if nothing more than to understand why the church has lost so much credibility among the general population of the world.

I am doing this study mainly for my own benefit so that I can understand where the church drifted away from its foundation. I am posting here to keep my thoughts organized and to let others who may have some of the same questions see at least one other layman’s view. Sometimes it seems that we are alone in our feelings about some important  issues. I want to let you know that you are not alone in this area.

I invite your comments on anything I say but I will not get into arguments about a different view. I certainly could be wrong about much of what I write but I hope you realize that you could also be wrong about some of the things you believe. I realize that for those biblical literalists out there that I am going to offend you on a regular basis. I just will not check my intelligence at the door when discussing religious issues.

Finally I want to apologize in advance for having to approve each comment you make before it appears here. This is necessary due to some unfortunate “stalking” problems in the past on this blog.

Until then I wish you peace…..

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6 responses to About Me and This Study…

  1. 

    This will be a fascinating journey for you RJ, and those of us along for the ride. The key for everyone to remember is that if an issue or position is not one that affects salvation, then differing opinions and interpretations are just that…differing and not right or wrong.

    • 

      You are stealing my thunder Bob 🙂
      Yeah that is the secret of it all, allowing others to have a different opinion on the secondary and lower stuff. But, unfortunately I know from personal experience that many churches exclude members if they don’t agree 100% with this or that creed. Shameful but that is the case.

  2. 

    Again, I enjoy the banter- but feel there are many ways to achieve eternal rest. Looking forward to what you find! If you find anything I say argumentative, I apologize in advance. This medium does not account for tone of voice in inquiry.

  3. 

    Hi Janette. Being deaf, tone-of-voice is something I no longer have.It does make me misunderstand things occasionally. I can still speak well but am not even aware of my own tone-of-voice now.Feel free to banter all you want. Knowing you from RJsCorner I’m sure you will keep it in line with the code of conduct here. I definitely want to hear and discuss varying opinions as long as they are civil in nature. Being civil seems to be something we are quickly losing in our society today.

  4. 

    Have you read Bart Ehrman’s books on the history of the Bible and Christianity? He was a believer and left his belief mainly over the problem of suffering. He teaches at Duke in the religion department. He is very open to discussion and the possibility that he is wrong. But the historical information in his books is fairly reliable. Of course there are books to refute his conclusions for balance such as Dr. Timothy Johnson, who taught at IU in the past. Very interested in your historical journey and hope to read each posting.

    Really looking forward to your discussion on this topic as always. From our perspective the “denominational church” is manmade. The scriptures clearly define the “church” as invisible and made up of those who have faith in Jesus. Using the Biblical definition of the church means we have brothers and sisters everywhere in and out of the denominations. Wonderful isn’t it to have such a large spiritual family worldwide?! What the church of men proclaim means nothing as it carries no divine authority unless they uphold the words of Christ. 6000 years age of church theory is just that – speculation and should never be used as a test of fellowship. Shameful indeed and we’re sorry you had to suffer at the hand of fellow believers. We think God has taken you into better worship and more growth.

    • 

      Hi Peppy. Welcome back to RLL. I’m glad you found your way back. Yes this will be quite a journey. I have already learned much and am hoping to learn more. Questions, even about Christianity, are always a good thing. I will check out the books you mentioned. I can tell you up front that I also have come to believe that our denominational separations are one of the most shameful parts of the church. But more on that later.

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