Christian: adj.1. of Christ’s teaching or religion. 2. Believing in or following the religion of Jesus Christ. 3. Showing the qualities associated with Christ’s teaching. 4. Colloq. (of a person) kind, fair, decent. n. 1a. a person who has received Christian baptism. b. an adherent of Christ’s teaching. 2. A person exhibiting Christian qualities.
Rogue Christian: Rogue = adjective, Christian = noun"An non-indoctrinated adherent of Christ’s teaching, driven away or living apart from the church/community."
Living apart from traditional church has it's implications and complications. In addition to being a Rogue Christian it also makes me an Abbaian, a follower of the Father.
Abba: father, customary title used of God in prayer. Whenever it occurs in the New Testament it has the Greek interpretation joined to it, that is apparently to be explained by the fact that the Chaldee "ABBA" through frequent use in prayer, gradually acquired the nature of a most sacred proper name, to which the Greek speaking Jews added the name from their own tongue.1
-ian: suffix var. of –an. Forming adjectives and nouns, esp. from names of places, systems, zoological classes or orders, and founders.Abba + ian = Abbaian: Follower of the Way of God the Father.
As far as church membership goes, I am not a member of any local visible church or denomination (which is not to say I am not active within any local church or churches). Denominational background really doesn't apply. I consider myself a member of the Invisible Universal Church, which transcends denominations. I belong to a Postdenominational Christianity.
However, another implication is an apparent lack of doctrine. What's my views on soterology? Am I a Trinitarian ? Am I an Evangelical?
I am often asked, Calvinist or Armenian? Are those the only options? I find the question somewhat limiting. To be honest I agree with both and neither. I think - from a very simplified perspective - Calvinism and Armenianism are the same thing, but from two very different perspectives. If a man's life - from birth to death - were a movie, we would perceive it as an audience watches a movie. we're experiencing it as the movie "plays" or "flows" forward. However, from a divine point of view - from God's perspective - the movie reel is unrolled and the entire film, every static frame, is viewed at once. "Time" doesn't flow. For the occupants "in" the movie, choices and free will exists. From an omnipotent perspective, God can view the beginning, any and every choice made via free will, and the end and it's consequences, at once. Even though free will choices were legitimately made, God still knows their outcome.
I have a problem with predestination and God's chosen elite. It's the inverse implication that bothers me: We have a loving God who has also created people for damnation and without hope.
Some have told me I'm more Armenian because I do believe you can shipwreck your faith and lose your salvation. I don't think I really am Armenian though. You see, both Calvinism and Armenianism share their defaulted starting positions. In both, man is born in original sin, fallen and condemned. At some future point, salvation occurs. They differ on the point of whether that salvation is permanent or not.
Although I believe you can lose your salvation, I'm not convinced we begin in a default state of being "fallen" anymore and I'm not convinced we "accept" salvation but rather (potentially) choose to opt-out of it.
Sunday, September 30, 2007
The Innerrantist, Part Two: A Two-Sided Coin
The bible becomes their idol, their “rulebook”. But this rulebook – their bible – must also be an absolute: not subjective. Thus is introduced the “Inerrant-Bible-Theory”. If it is inerrant, it is beyond questioning and therefore completely objective and absolute in its authority.
This is the Achilles’ Heel for the Inerrantist who is obligated by definition to defend this Inerrant-Bible, often to ridiculous ends, manifesting itself in a literal interpretation, and most often times resorting to a belief in magic, or circular thinking.
The Secular-atheist’s “faith-system” - in relation to the bible - is a negative belief. It necessarily believes in the unreliability of the bible. Which, when thought about, puts as its center exact the same point of the Inerrantist's. This Secular-atheist inherently believes that they have the ability to collapse the whole of Christianity by simply finding one weak link in the Inerrant-Bible’s armor. If they can do this, then they succeed. The Inerrantist and the Secular-atheist share the same center of belief, but represent either side of that coin – the Inerrent-Bible. One believes it must absolutely be defended at all costs, while the other believes it must be (and has been) defeated and discredited. And while this battle runs on the basic message is left unnoticed and its wisdom lost.
Both the Innerrantist and the Secular-atheist put the authenticity and authority of the bible in the center of their faiths to some greater or lesser degree. Although they have different issues and different believes, they share that one common denominator: the coin itself. Their belief-systems are only then built upon one of these two assumptions. Both subscribe to an either/or paradigm.
I think that is a danger. I'd like to believe there is an both/and paradigm, or even a neither/nor paradigm.
To some degree, it can be said that they both have adopted a modern scientific methodology... and like I just said, I think this either/or paradigm is very risky business.
(Next...Part Three: Led Astray)