I have decided to focus the direction of the blog a little bit. As I have journeyed, I have rambled a bit, talking about my frustrations and my journey. I have found that many readers of the blog are searching, trying to find a direction, so I hope to focus this blog on uniting this community and helping others find a direction.
First, I have decided to not worry about fundamentalism. From the beginning of Christianity, there have been those who have wanted to turn the Christian life into a series of legalistic laws, exchanging the grace of Christ for a rule based religion. These groups have always been present, and I am not going to spend time and energy on them.
Second, I have decided to not spend energy on the conservative/liberal debate. In today’s world, the labels are misleading and do not serve a purpose in talking about historical Christianity.
My passion for this blog is very different. I believe that in the past 40 years, a new type of religion has emerged from Christianity that is unique to American culture, but is now spreading rapidly through the world. The attributes of this movement are several
- Instead of a Triune God, the name “Jesus” is used in a Unitarian sense. The historical theology of Father, Son, and Spirit is replaced with a singular “Jesus”.
- Occasionally the cross may be mentioned, but the death, burial, and future return of Christ is largely ignored.
- Instead of historical discussions on sin and grace, this movement focuses on a Jesus who helps us be successful parents, money managers, and football players.
- The members of this group do not follow traditional denominational boundaries and are coming from charismatic groups, non-denominational churches, Baptist churches, and even from some of the historical denominations.
- The “Christian” publishing industry has almost completely been taken over by this movement. Publishing giants Zondervan and Thomas Nelson Publishing have been purchased by the Rupert Murdoch empire and control most of the “Christian” publishing industry. This follows a common tenant of this movement of merging American style capitalism with religion.
- In the extreme, this group teaches a prosperity gospel. However, the more common teaching is a ‘prosperity lite’ that if you praise Jesus, be a good spouse, and manage your money then Jesus will reward you with a good middle class lifestyle.
- As far as I can tell, I haven’t found a good name for this movement. Some names I have seen are “Prosperity Gospel”, “Prosperity Lite”, and “Consumer Christianity”. I have been calling it “Unitarian Christianity” because of its use of a singular “Jesus”, but I am not sure that is the best name.