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Keith Kelly

Us Saving Christ?

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With the decline of the church, especially in industrialized countries, churches are increasingly used more and more for baptisms, weddings and funerals. Buddhism, on the other hand, has increased in the United States by 200% from 1990 to 2000 and another 200% from 2000 to 2010. People are searching for meaningful modalities of understanding spirituality and Christianity is but one alternative. The older models of the fall, saved by grace and Christ's death and the coming of the Kingdom are hardly understandable in modern terms, starting with understandings that developed during the Enlightenment. Is it time that we, as ones who identify ourselves as Christians, to think and speak in terms of us saving Christ? Cultural Christianity is readily available, however relatively few show up at, say, the Passion of St. John or Matthew. Volunteerism is another way to communicate the message. However it is my feeling that the present state of affairs calls for more of an overt salvage operation to meet the requirements of the coming age. Any thoughts?

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We live in a post-Christian age, and have been doing so for some time. The appealing thing about some Eastern traditions, like Buddhism, is that you don't have to be a Buddhist to be Buddhist. On the other hand, you have to be a Christian to be Christian.

 

Steve

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Keith, thank you for starting this discussion, you and Steve are right on the mark. I feel Centering Prayer and Letio Divina, which are meditations techniques are a good way for Christians to get in touch with themselves, the universe and Christian mysticism. I feel the church has been concentrating on the circumference and needs to change direction and start heading to the center. I would not even mind a Christian/Buddhist collaboration as they already have groups who meditate regularly.

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TCPC is certainly an organization participating in the saving of Christ. I also find the mystical approach to knowing Jesus to be meaningful, but not everyone finds spiritual/mystical experiences to be natural or welcome. The saving of Christ, to me, means to act in the world with love in name of Jesus Christ. If you are loving, compassion, non-judgmental, or anything else that is the opposite of what is hurting the name of Christ in the world, then maybe people will begin attaching their impressions of Christ with you instead of the negative presentations of Jesus and Christianity.

 

I used to be very reserved in letting people know that I was a Christian. I would make up alternative words to "Christian" that would disassociate me from evangelicals and fundamentalists. But I've decided that calling myself a Christian and being a loving presence in the world was my little way of "saving" Jesus.

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