Category Archives: Renovation

The Necessity of the Christ for a Good Life

On Resurrection Sunday a few years ago, numerous pastors of churches in a fading mainline American denomination rose to deny Jesus. The statement dozens of these heretics had agreed upon was spoken as in unison. They said, “Jesus, called the Christ, if he ever actually existed, was certainly not the  divine Son of God and cannot be said in any way to be sole means of salvation for  human souls.”

A few months after this event, I sat listening to a friendly woman pastor of the same denomination. She had written a well-received book on the demise of American Christianity. I admit I did not read her book. She lamented the death of American Christianity, coming, as it did, in a time when her Church had come to so believe in grace that no one actually needed to present Jesus as the divine Christ, since all persons were already accepted by God in grace.

I am going to make some statements to follow up on these ruminations above. I freely admit they have bothered me since I heard them, though their denomination is certainly not mine.

Statement One: I perceive God in Jesus Christ. I believe in Jesus Christ as the only-gotten Son of the Father, the Savior of a race in need of saving.

Statement Two: The historic, creedal affirmation of Jesus as the Christ, Second Person of the Holy Trinity, is the last and final bulwark between the real, confessing Church and paganism.

Statement Three: The group or the person who fails to continue (or never begins) to recognize Jesus as the Christ, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, crucified, dead and resurrected, ascended into Heaven and coming again, loses the vitality to call itself the Church, or any part of the Church, or part of any Church.

Statement Four: God is a people-having God. This group or that sect may perish, but God will have a people. For any of us to claim to be Christian must mean we accept the moral demands put on us by the presence, person and purpose of the Christ.

Statement Five: Christ’s moral influence on us is the inevitable consequence of His appearance in the flesh and His death on the Cross. If I am so good I do not need saving (no one who knows this will claim it for me) then the Cross is an extreme event.

Statement Six: Christ’s inevitable moral influence on us requires (rather than allows) that we take a stand against evil, whether we find it in popular culture or populist politics.

I freely admit a dissident (immediately or finally) has to suffer the wages of his dissidence. Contemporary North American Christians notice their denominations dwindling down to death and wonder why. I believe the basic requirement of spiritual awakening must be the reaffirmation of the historic and creedal emphasis of Christ among Christians who wish to have a Christian Church.

Why Bother to Believe AT All?

I perceive God as Tri-une; impossible, unlikely, nearly incomprehensible. I apprehend God in Jesus, (the, not a) Christ, foretold by the prophets, announced by angels, pursued by powerful foreigners, born of the Blessed Virgin Mary, his death twice ordered by the Jealous Powerful (at His Advent, again at the Cross). Jesus lived a perfect life,… Continue Reading

The Priesthood of the Believable.

I perceive God as real, personal, just and loving. I accept God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit and still find myself willing to accept the old paternal language even though I believe God embodies and transcends gender. I believe in One True Living God, who chooses to show Godself in three separate and distinct… Continue Reading

A Perfect Villain-Post Thirteen-La lune ne garde aucune rancune

The moon, we are told by the poet, never holds a grudge. If we can just make the day, night will soothe our burning-ed eyes. After work one evening, having made it through one more day, an important young man hurried off to meet our Perfect Villain. I do not think this was their only… Continue Reading

Writer’s Note II-On the Sabbath Day (Christian)-Discrimen

I am writing in this space about Jesus, whom I call the Christ. His name is part name, part title, as are most of our names, if we know them. If we do not know the title that is our name, no matter. we seek titles to put before and after our names, cluttering our… Continue Reading

A Perfect Villain, Post Eleven

The moral arc of the universe bends slowly, slightly, a strand at a time, but it finally strains toward justice. Our opposition to evil persons may bring pain to our own house; the good does not always win, it ultimately wins. How soon good triumphs is directly in line with the stridence of our opposition… Continue Reading

Perfect Villain-Post Ten

The Road a twisted serpent lay t’wixt home of blessed hope and the final tie where night confines the day. There in that shallow shadow of twisted moment’s thought Red was green and fell between with some memories he’d brought. He, chaste lover,  confidant of clowns, sadly sinking. slowly keeling. simply drowns. While he dies… Continue Reading

The Perfect Villain, Post Six

Follow God? Obey God? Sacrifice for God? I barely want anything to do with God. That is, if God is only or mostly the silly, smug person presented in our dumbed down churches. God better be better than what we hear, or what is the point? Most Americans could attain the same things we get… Continue Reading

A Perfect Villain, Post Five

If you read here at all, you understand my preference for Christianity over all other religions and, indeed, my preference for Christianity over no religion at all. If I prefer Christianity (and I do) it is because I prefer the Person of the Christ over the Face(s) of other Faith(s). The Christ is extraordinarily competent,… Continue Reading

The Second Sentence

Most of us can write a first sentence. We own the faculties of benign intellect at least. We can say what we think, or how we feel or repeat what we heard. The Second Sentence, aye, there’s the rub. The Second Sentence may be a non sequitur. The Second Sentence may be the rough equivalent of the… Continue Reading