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Friday, October 06, 2006

Big Tent Christianity

I guess there are two ways to take that title.

  • In essence Christianity is a religion of tent evangelists.

  • In essence Christianity leaves room for many viewpoints under a big tent.

Christianity is a blanket description of those that have chosen to have a relationship with God, based not on their religiousness but on accepting God's offer of adoption.

The old saying is if you find the perfect church, don't join it - you'll ruin it. For the same reason you can not approach a perfect God in other than a perfect condition.

God is perfect, for us to approach him we must either be perfect ourselves, or had our many imperfections washed clean by a perfect sacrifice. Jesus Christ offered that perfect sacrifice to allow us to approach him, and then be adopted into his family.

That is the essence that defines a Christian, they have acknowledged the sacrifice made by God and on that basis approach him to join his family.

Christians come from all sorts of backgrounds, hold all sorts of conflicting ideas on all sorts of subjects, and are united first by God's actions, then theirs.

God took the initiative.

Christians are those who moved to responded to God's offer.

Christianity is based on individual choice, not group dynamics. As adopted members of God's family Christians have become citizens of God's realm. Assigned as short term ambassadors, Christians represent the kingdom of God here on earth - and perform ambassadorial functions as directed by their head of state -- The resurrected Jesus Christ.

Christianity has room for all sorts of folks with varying opinions about general life issues. We are a family with each member an individual. What unites us is sacrificial love.

We must let that love overcome our immaturities and petty squabbles, and realize that the eternal is to be our focus. To be true ambassadorial representatives of heaven, we must not "go native" on Earth.

Our opinions will all fit under the big tent of God's love, but we must not let the temporal distract us from eternal duty. If your life is dedicated to divisive earthly pursuits - perhaps you never made that walk down the big tent's center isle to approach the living God.

In which case - quit calling yourself a Christian.

Or come to God now on the basis of your error, and his sacrifice to atone for all of your sins.

He is willing to pledge to you just as you must pledge to him.