Monday, March 14, 2005

Why another blog on the 'true' church?

I would like to welcome all newcomers to this site. But this comes with a warning: This is no place for the ecclesiastically comfortable.

Who then is this for? It is for folks like me who have for some time felt that there was something systemically wrong with the way the church has developed since the Apostles passed away. It is for all those who long for the power and presence of God that was clearly available to an earlier age, but which seems removed from this modern wasteland. This site is here to tell you that you are not wrong, and that probably all you have suspected is true. It is here to confirm that what passes for the church since the apostolic period amounts to an institutional denial of the teachings of Jesus, operating solely in the flesh, the Spirit having been withdrawn from it centuries ago.

If you are a product of the seminary, you will find what is said here especially irritating, as this blog will defend the position that both Jesus and His disciples taught that the Church's future 'leaders' (if I dare call them that) would be created and equiped in a manner wholly at odds with the seminary or any modern educational system. The seminary, in fact, must be seen as an accomodationist phenomenon that confuses academic training with the Spirit of God; favors the wealthy or those with wealthy benefactors; and worse, is significantly - if not solely - responsible for the spiritless nature of the modern church with its production of 'professional' clergy, or, as Jesus called them, 'hirelings'. The observation will be made here of the fact that most (all?) heresies of the Church have come via the disputations of the learned class, who now bear the responsibility for the Church's drift away from its original kerygmatic [1] faith by way of their vain hairsplitting and meddling in things not revealed. In what they suppose was a valid attempt to save the Church from heretics, in reality was its eclipse. This does not mean that we will support Arius over Athanasius or the other way around. Rather, we will reject them both.

This said, I do not want it to be understood that I am condemning in their entirety the scholarly works produced by 'Christian' scribes. (Afterall, many will be cited here.) But there is a better way to achieve what they are doing, that avoids the simony wrought by high seminary costs, that brings God-sponsored teachers back into the Church, and that honors God's way of creating them in the first place. This is what we hope to make clear.

Chief among the heretical tendencies inaugurated by these 'churchmen' - and which this site will examine in the light of the Bible - is not merely the creation of any single error, but is the reception of a radical hermenuetic that dogmatizes speculative theology over the original kerygmatic proclamation. For it was this tendancy to affirm one speculation over another rather than to humbly admit to ignorance with respect to what has not be revealed that has produced divisive doctrines such as Ontological Trinitarianism, the clergy/laity system, Augustinianism, Calvinism, Arminianism and countless other 'isms' that have arisen to satisfy an intellectual faith but which are powerless idols of men when it comes to producing the cruciform life. This tendancy to replace what God has done with what men have thought has left the Church open to public condemnation as this spirit has created fleshly divisions were none were needed and brought scandel and bloodshed upon what was to be a spotless bride.

Here we hope will be offered Biblical alternatives to some of the most perplexing problems in Christianity that are both true to the Biblical text and offer true hope for the return of a Christianity whose witness is in power rather than in words.

In contradistinction to the philosophical methods that produced the aforementioned mutilations of the faith, this site will follow a rigorously kerygmatic approach whereby what God has done, is doing, and will do in history will take pre-eminence in shaping our understanding of the true Faith of Jesus. Here will be a full-blown attempt to re-historicize the biblical language (i.e., such words as 'predestination'.), demonstrating that a kerygmatic faith follows a wholly different path when identifying what constitutes a schism-justifying error.

So, why another blog on the 'true' church?

The absence of the cruciform life among today's Christians, despite the inundation of theological self-help books and scholarly tomes, should tell us that something is wrong. The seminaries never tire of telling us that the problem lies with the laity, always absolving themselves of any complicity with this spiritless mess. The laity, on the other hand, while being starved of the Word, are experimenting liberally with every new thing pop-culture has to offer from an accomodation to its musical tastes to outright assimilation to the pagan ways of doing business. Some say the answer is a return to 'Orthodoxy'. This is doubtful, since it can be demonstrated - and will be so here - that the rise of orthodoxy and its assimilationist tendancy and apostate hermeneutic is what got us here in the first place. The solution we suggest, will only be found when the Church is willing to move beyond intellectually conceived dogma to historically proclaimed kerygma. This is not to deny the mind, but to affirm the faith once delivered to the saints.

Let's be honest. Anyone who looks at today's church and then makes a thoughtful reading of Luke's Acts, with its supernaturally-birthed community, will think they are comparing two wholly different religions. Something was going on there that is not going on now - at least not on any institutional scale. The difference, this site will argue, is in both the content and experience of what was proclaimed and the pabulum served abroad today as"Christian." We will demonstrate and affirm that the Father will only bless by His presence and power that which is in line with the message of the Cross, where His power is revealed in weakness.

He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

JB

[1] The kerygmatic faith is focused on the proclamation of what God has done in history, rather than on what subsequent men have decided it all means. The only recognized input of men comes from those appointed by our Lord at the time of the saving events. The word 'kerygma' is the Greek word for 'proclamation' (or in some contexts, 'the content of that proclamation'). The Apostle Paul was convinced that this had a power of its own to save those who heard. (Rom 1:16)

2 Comments:

Anonymous Peter Tate said...

I have had the honor of knowing Bill for about 4 years. This, his first blog, is consistent with his teaching. I asked him once, "What gives you the right to teach me?" Bill believes he will be held accountable for his discipling. In fact, he believes he will be held to a higher standard of judgement because of this responsiblilty.
At the same time, Bill's purpose in teaching is simple: to point people towards Christ. He does this in all humility, because, like those who seek Jesus, Bill has been humbled himself. He knows that faith is not a badge of honor or means of attaining virtue. In turn, he believes faith in Christ should transform one's character, "the cruciform life." I am looking forward to reading his work and I congratulate him on making this bold step.

In Christ,
Peter Tate

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