The Church of the Future

I actually have great respect for Greg Boyd even though he and I are different theologically.  I can read his books and say this guy is really focused on the Cross.  I have modified a few words in his books on occasion to accomodate my theological stance but I recommend you especially read his books “Repenting of Religion” and “Myth of a Christian Nation”.

The essay below is really well said

http://www.gregboyd.org/essays/the-religionless-church-of-the-future/

Now, you may be asking, what has all this got to do with the future Church? In my opinion, it’s got absolutely everything to do with the future church. For, as I shall now argue, the world we live in is forcing us, and freeing us, to recover the centrality of love in the Church – and it is long overdue.

I would have used the word Gospel rather than the word love above.  The reason I like Gospel more is because I believe, Gods love is shown to us most clearly when we understand the depth of our sin and in response to what Jesus did for us on the cross. IN view of the cross we respond, in love, in view of Gods Mercy,  to his initiating call of Grace for us to other people.    But the essence of the Aricle is RIGHT ON!. Way to go Greg Boyd.

Greg goes on to discuss Lutheran theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

As Bonhoeffer ingeniously saw over sixty years ago, this future church will be a religionless Church. The historic Christianity that was defined by a set of distinctive religious beliefs and religious behaviors lost it’s credibility and relevance in much of the world long ago. It’s diabolically bloody history and unfortunate association with western culture and nationalistic interests secured this. But Bonhoeffer saw that even in his own time it was losing its credibility and relevance even in the west where it once reigned. In our post-modern context, I think its safe to say that this credibility and relevance has now largely disappeared.

Those who are heavily invested in the religion of Christianity understandably view its demise as threatening and depressing. With Bonhoeffer, however, I submit that the loss of the credibility and relevance of the Christian religion is actually something to be embraced and even celebrated. For in dying to our religion we are able to live in Christ.

The fact of the matter is that Christianity was never supposed to be defined primarily as a distinctive set of religious beliefs and religious behaviors. Jesus didn’t come into the world to establish a club of people who are defined by their right theological and ethical opinions over and against all those with wrong beliefs and wrong ethical opinions. He didn’t come to give us the right way to be Pharisees! He came into the world to establish a new reality. He came into the world to establish the kingdom of God. And as we’ve seen, the essence of this new and radically different kingdom is Calvary-quality love.

If you don’t agree — at least think about it.

Todays young generation have become skeptical of religion in our high tech,  information based society … but yet they are open to the Cross and Jesus Christ and the entirety of the Gospel message.  They dont like the “face” of religion whatsoever. They desire not the righteoussness of the law (Phil 3:9) that is ultimately self serving but they yearn for the whole Gospel to be preached.  They need to see a Church that is  interested in feeding from the tree of life (Jesus and his purpose on the Cross) and NOT one that sucks worth from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

They need to  experience the righteoussness of Christ until grace breaks into their hearts so fully that obededience and love just flows out of normal, everyday behavior.

In Christ

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5 thoughts on “The Church of the Future

  1. theoldadam

    I now am a member of the least “religious” church that I have ever seen, or been in.

    I have been to Catholic churces, to Baptist churches, to Pentecostal churches, to non-denominational churches, to Luthran churches, and some others .

    All the churches and worship services had a “religious” aspect. Some more than others. But all were fairly “religious”.

    “Religion” being those things that we needed to do to get right with God, or to stay right with God, or to improve in the eyes of God.

    “Religion” was a part of them. What we should, ought, or must be doing.

    Many of the churches that “looked” non-religious, were in fact, the most religious.They were ‘how-to’ churches or ‘holiness’ churches. In the end, the focus was turned upon you, and what you are doing. To me, that is religion.

    The church I attend now has candles, and stained windows, and church pews, and an altar, and an organ, and the pastor wears vestments…and we are the LEAST RELIGIOUS church I have ever been in…by far.

    I think we ought not look to how things appear…but what the theology is and what is actually said to the people.

    And I agree…religion in a huge problem

    Thanks, Jon!

    – Steve

  2. theoldadam

    I now am a member of the least “religious” church that I have ever seen, or been in.

    I have been to Catholic churces, to Baptist churches, to Pentecostal churches, to non-denominational churches, to Luthran churches, and some others .

    All the churches and worship services had a “religious” aspect. Some more than others. But all were fairly “religious”.

    “Religion” being those things that we needed to do to get right with God, or to stay right with God, or to improve in the eyes of God.

    “Religion” was a part of them. What we should, ought, or must be doing.

    Many of the churches that “looked” non-religious, were in fact, the most religious.They were ‘how-to’ churches or ‘holiness’ churches. In the end, the focus was turned upon you, and what you are doing. To me, that is religion.

    The church I attend now has candles, and stained windows, and church pews, and an altar, and an organ, and the pastor wears vestments…and we are the LEAST RELIGIOUS church I have ever been in…by far.

    I think we ought not look to how things appear…but what the theology is and what is actually said to the people.

    And I agree…religion in a huge problem

    Thanks, Jon!

    – Steve

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