How can you know someone you that you know nothing about? It has recently become the avant-garde thing to do to once again proclaim no creed but Christ and to know God outside of church, doctrine or creed. But my question is how do you do that?
I was one of the few people I know who were really discipled. Don Nonnenman took me under his wing and he taught me what he felt was important, then I spent two years in Bible College, and 8 years as a heavily active member of the church that sponsored the college. I still feel woefully uninformed when it comes to orthodox thoughts on Christianity. I learned a lot of about word of faith practices and how to “work the Word” for all that it is worth but very little about the core beliefs that make Christianity what it is.
Having not grown up in church I was never subject to Catechism or even much more than a very basic Sunday school experience. Heather and I have spent some time reviewing Catechisms for ourselves and our girls so that they will know what to believe and why as they grow up. Just from an anecdotal evidence I see very little proof that those young people who have grown up in church know much more about Christianity than those who have not been to church before.
Christian Smiths book Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers interviews thousands of young people from many different church backgrounds and he discovered that many of our church kids follow what he describes as therapeutic moralistic deism and not orthodox Christianity. Could this be because we have gotten away from tougher deeper teaching to in order to be attractive to consumer driven seekers? I am not sure but I believe it must be considered.
In her new book “Quitting Church: Why the Faithful are Fleeing and What to Do about It
” Julia Duin (pronounced dean) talks about the new reformed churches that are a growing number of churches that are gaining popularity. Churches like Mars Hill in Seattle is taking on tough questions and would never be accused of being seeker sensitive. Pastor Mark Driscoll pulls no punches with his devotion to the Gospel which he admits is an offense to most who hear it. He uses all the larger words of the Bible that many shy away from for the fear of sounding to religious.
The question becomes whether or not Christianity will be able to separate itself from any general spirituality that surrounds it. Although on paper we may be able to I don’t know of those who call themselves Christians can articulate the difference.