Friday, 15 September 2017

Approaching Life

Christianity is a necessity, and yet most available versions of Christianity present Life as an obstacle course of rules and regulations: do and don'ts.

Yet we are so weak and labile that such a recipe is overwhelming in its difficulty. Most of us would have no motivation or energy left-over after satisfying the requirements...

We yearn to be free, and creative, and face Life with as care-free an attitude as possible - we want to live from our-selves not to somebody else's blueprint.

The Good news is that Christianity, but only Christianity, enables exactly this; because the gift of repentance allows us to do our best, fail, and start again - without limit.

Instead of being paralysed (or hardened) by impossible laws, we are enabled to face Life as an adventure, secure in the infinite power of repentance.

Indeed, wasn't this the Main point of Christianity?


Michael Dyer said...

Jesus said His yoke was easy and Hus burden light. Later on we are admonished to be careful for nothing and to not fret ourselves.

Any version of the Christian life that works against these things is woefully deficient. I still have some bitterness in my heart against some bad doctrine I was taught over the years that took my free strong Christianity and helped a fearful, spiritually cramped, take its place (at least partially).

I am grieved by the number of Christians I've met over the years who I believe are genuine believers but are either fear ridden or just quit trying because they believe that any real progress is basically impossible. No wonder really, when they're taught that any strength is pride and seem to be ignorant of real Hebrews 11 faith. All it takes is a grain of mustard seed to turn it around.

I also quasi blame Pilgrims Progress going out of favor as a book read by nearly all Christians (including far more Catholics than one might suppose). It's like the Christian life written with lightning and was second only to the Bible in popularity for at least two centuries.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Michael - Thanks for the comment. I haven't yet read Pilgrims Progress - partly because I am not very responsive to allegory, partly because it sounded very dour... My Plymouth Bretheren Great Grandparents apparently (as you said) regarded PP as the only book to be allowed shelf space in their house, along with the Bible. But, somehow, that didn't really seem like much of a recommendation!

The difficulty, frome where we are, is of course that the bulk of Christians who make these points are doing so from wrong-motivations - usually because they wish to take advantage of the sexual revolution in one way or another.

But motivations are everything. Bad motivations have bad outcomes, from the Christian persepctive, even when someone (somehow) adheres to the letter of The Laws.

It is often said (CS Lewis often said it) that Christianity cannot be adopted because of social expedience - because it encourages/ enforces Good Behaviour. Many say this, but few are prepared really to believe it - and will make-use-of Christianity for expecience, when it suits them or when they are very worried.

Of course we must judge, and from a Christian perspective - but *ultimately* the worst sins are not the sins that are done and repented; but the sins (no matter how apparently-small) that are defended or promoted.

Well-behaved mainstream modern secular Left intellectuals (such as run all major institutions, and control the mass media, education, propaganda etc - the 'great and good' as we call them in England) are among the worst sinners of world history... its a plain fact, and one that really needs to be internalised and lived-by.

Michael Dyer said...

Thank you for your reply, you really must read PP. I thought about trying to explain more, but I fear I can't do it justice. However I will say that as you read it you will recognize yourself and others in a way that is pertinent and timeless.