Our god(s) determine our daily life. As a Christian theologian and pastor my goal is that the Christian community and life be determined by the God of Israel who raised Jesus of Nazareth from the dead. I am convinced a life determined by that God looks differently than much of the current practice and speech coming from the Church.
Even though we cannot turn back the hands of time the Christian Church stands with all attention to its Saints of old as it marches into the future. Those saints have a great story to tell, and from them we learn much. In those days all life revolved around the preaching of the Word and the reception of the Sacraments and the praying of prayers. Long before the Pope’s tyranny came to fruition the life of Christians was determined by the church bells. Morning Matins, mid-day Divine Service, and evening Vespers were the physical and spiritual motion of faithfulness. Not to mention the care for the community and hospitality to strangers freely practiced.
When I reflect on what determines the lives of Western Christians I come to the conclusion that it is cars, petroleum, cell phones, or electricity before it is the God Jesus prayed to. This technologically advanced and increasingly consumerist culture has determined our thinking and life much more than the God we claim to follow. My opinion is that we are more aware of these realities as Christians than we admit. We notice them and complain about them here and there, but we simply do not have the vocabulary to talk about such issues. Nor do we have what feels like a safe group to talk within. One of the goals of this article is to kindle and promote such a vocabulary and group.
This is not an article calling for the return of wild aesthetics. This is an article calling for the return of Theology. God is still speaking and he still has demands for his Christians in this modern age. The difficulty is that these demands might and often do stands in conflict with the current practices and thoughts Christians and the Church are involved in. In that moment the God of Israel is in a stand-off with the gods of this age, and like the people of Israel in the Wilderness the main question we American Christians face is not, “will we be faithful to a god?” it is “which god will we be faithful to?”