In my last two blog posts I’ve discussed how the modernist-western church fights and fears post-modernism yet has embraced a form of Gnosticism in regards to how knowledge (gnosis) of certain “truths” are seen as keys to salvation. This is why we frequently hear evangelical conservatives say things like, “I don’t think she’s a real Christian because she doesn’t believe in (insert pet doctrine)” or “You aren’t a real Christian if you voted for (insert pet politician). Scripture is quite clear what the gospel is: John 1:12 reads: “…to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” What are we to believe basically that Jesus is the Christ and his Life, death, and resurrection!
But the modern-gnostic-christians want you to know hell may also await those who: among other things, speak in tongues at the wrong time, let women preach in the wrong place, those who believe Jesus is returning in the wrong period, or those who vote for the wrong person.
The western Church has been molded by modernist thought, that arose from the enlightenment. Modernism grew out of a belief that God created a world that is logical and that we can know and understand the world around us by logical, scientific, and mathematical rules. This understanding enabled the scientific era to begin. I am grateful for this development in that much benefit has come to society and individuals. However this approach to truth began to run amuck (which is from the old-english term for horse dukey) when it began to usurp the pre-modern truth that was revealed in Scripture.
The scientific method began to be applied rigidly to reading scripture and seeking God. Again this was not all bad, but the result often was that finite humans believed they could adequately describe an infinite God. Scripture was written in a pre-modern world in which often the Narrative (the story) was more important than the strict didactic (teaching). The eastern – culture of biblical times understood that truth was more than mental, but also relational, living, and directly tied to action.
Why does this matter? This self-righteous addiction to gnosis (knowledge) is at the heart of why the church divides more than the cells in a zygote – and is much less healthy!
Part 2 – Examples of Jesus, Paul and the Disciples Embracing Doctrinal Diversity! – Later today…..