“One side said, Christ was ‘begotten’; the other said, ‘created’. One declared him ‘divine by nature’ and the other ‘divine by adoption’. These differences are essentially trivial. Christian thinkers should, imitate Greek philosophers, who had tolerated disagreements far more profound than this without calling each other devils or organizing factions to suppress each others’ opinions.” (Frend, Rise of Christianity, p 497)
The above issues were arguments supposedly settled by the Council of Nicaea, called by Constantine in 325 CE when Arianism was identified as heresy and the Nicene Creed was promulgated. But in fact Christians of one kind or another have been arguing about these issues ever since, even up through the present times.
Carl Rahner said “The Christians of tomorrow will either be a mystic or nothing.” I see that statement as a response to the crazy factions arguing about doctrine and dogma. To be egotistical enough to declare I’m right and you’re wrong is exactly what Christianity doesn’t need. My salvation is not determined by my intellectual capacities or by how I can force you to believe something, but by how I treat my neighbor.
According to Rabbi Benjamin Blech in Understanding Judaism: The Basics of Deed and Creed, Judaism is recognized as being a religion about deed and not creed. (Blech, 1992) A Jewish friend of mine told me recently the thing she likes most about her faith is that you can believe anything you want. To have such freedom in a religion seems almost anti-religious, but I believe freedom is the reward for the spiritual quest, and happiness its standard of measurement.
We are a community of laymen and laywomen who, with vowed Passionists, seek to share in the charism of St. Paul of the Cross through prayer, ongoing spiritual formation, and proclamation of the message of Christ Crucified.
2 thoughts on “What Will Tomorrow’s Christian Look Like?”
You presented some very interesting points of view in this short reflection. Right now we see lots of “discussion” taking place due to the stimulating questions posed by Pope Frances that are causing even deeper thought and reflection. Thanks Dan.
You’re welcome Evan, but it’s my brother Dave who deserves the thanks. That’s his post. I realized that I forgot to put his name under his picture when I read your comment. I’ve corrected that. Happy New Year Evan
On another note, hope you got to see the post underneath Dave’s. The link to it from the weekly news letter takes you to the wrong place. The 2014 Blog report is right under Dave’s post.