Some of the lessons that can only be learned outside the walls of ‘traditional’ Christianity?
This is just thinking with my fingers!
Do we need the many denominations? If we didn’t have the many denominations we wouldn’t have the many views of ‘Christianity’. The teachings of the denominations are almost invariably based on reason and logic. That is the foundation of ‘religion’ rather than ‘faith’. But if there were no denominations where would the basis of ‘faith’ come from? This suggests to me that the need for denominations is not unlike the rise and fall of nations – all part of the growth of understanding – and the futility of life without God at the centre!
I know I’m biased (or indoctrinated) by some 20 years of believing that we were approaching the end of the age – but I’m not convinced that that teaching was wrong – maybe just the wrong timing!
All of this to point to a belief that while many are leaving the churches that they may have attended for many years as agnostics or even atheists, there are tens of thousands who are leaving with a greater commitment and who are learning so much more about ‘faith’ now that they are no longer restrained by the doctrines of the denomination that they have left.
Dave had written:
“I think one of the greatest failures of the church through the ages is that when they have discovered a great truth they built a religion around it rather than allowing that truth to become a part of the greater whole of revealed truth in the church.” The entire history of the Protestant church is the greatest example of this, for every denomination has evolved this way. Lutheran, Methodist, Baptist, Pentecostal – the pattern is the same: a truth is uncovered, and rather than becoming a part of the whole of revealed truth it is isolated to become a religion in itself. That being said, I am very interested in your perspective – this is an excellent topic for one of the conversations that would undoubtedly benefit from as many viewpoints as possible.
Just a few thoughts to stimulate discussion.