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Why Is Church So Important To The Christian Faith?


OnceConvinced
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Yeeeeup Epo... she's done that to me sooOOOOooo many times. She's avoided my point 85% of the time. When she finally started answering my points directly, it sounded like she was doing a cut & paste job from an apologetics site. When i'd shoot down those arguments, she either avoided me again, or did the whole emotional tantrum deal.

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I also find that much of the Church is missing the most important message and that is experiencing Christ in a deeper way. It is more than just reading the Bible, going to church, witnessing etc. We forget the human side of His divinity and He just becomes this etheral all powerful King who grants our wishes when ever we ask. That's the way most believers are brought up in the faith. Pick up the latest editon of Charisma magazine or go to your local Christian bookstiore and you'll see what's important to the American church right now. So little of it actually resembles the Christ of the gospels.

I know Amy's choosing to not post anymore right now, but I wanted to mention something about this. I appreciate what I am hearing her say that she sees the church as failing to address the spiritual needs of the flock. She is making a call to get back to the "fundamentals" of the teachings in the Gospels. This is pretty much what the modern fundamentalist movement in 20th century Christianity was founded on, and where the term "fundamentalism" came from.

 

In the case of early fundamentalism being a reaction to modernity in the church and striving to get back to the fundamentals of the faith, Amy is finding an emotional disconnect in the institution and is likewise turning her eyes backwards to "the good 'ole days", for the wisdom of those who came before. Of course in both instances these are nostalgic views that the "good 'ole days' held any more hope or satisfaction that what is available to us today.

 

I see that what she is doing is a search for meaning, hanging her hopes on a belief that someone, far removed by time and history held answers for her emotional/spiritual needs. She elevates these individuals to superhuman status and projects her faith upwards upon them, which in reality is drawing her own feelings out of herself for her to see and recognize and draw strength from.

 

Fundamentalism is a way of making idols removed from contemporary culture for the purpose of spiritual focus. Amy's world of Charismatics is drifting into modern culture and doesn’t work for people like her anymore, like modernity in the churches spawned early fundamentalism. But again human beings participate in society and you cannot stop social evolution anymore than you can stop nature. Those who opt out by trying to live in the 1st century will only ever be able to have limited success at best, and find themselves socially out of touch if they continue to live and communicate with the rest of us in the real world.

 

So why go to church? To put one's thoughts in mind of the symbols of faith, and to try surround yourself with like-minded people trying to turn the clock back to 50 AD. It doesn't work unless you totally remove yourself from society in an totally isolated community.

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