Rob Bells Trampoline
In Velvet Elvis Rob Bell discusses Doctrine as the spring on a trampoline. The springs are not the main point; they merely facilitate the greater goal of “us finding our lives in God.” He compares it to looking at doctrine as a brick wall that when bricks are removed simply falls apart. However a trampoline missing a few springs can still be useful.
This analogy falls apart in itself in that when you remove enough springs you no longer have a trampoline but a tarp. However it betrays an understanding of Christianity that is becoming more invasive as this “emergent” line of thinking expands. Christianity, unlike other religions, isn’t based on a system of living; if you do more good than bad you will be accepted by God. It is based on the premise that our very nature is abhorrent to a perfect God and we can by no means please him. In fact we don’t even know enough to pursue him or look for him save for his provision of grace. Christianity isn’t simply a better way to live, which has lead non believers to the idea of “That may work for you but not for me or others.” Christianity isn’t subjective in its claims, the first century church was called to testify and bear witness of Christ’s resurrection, as historical fact.
There are certain dogma’s of the faith (the proper definition of dogma is to mean those things which can not be compromised not the negative connotation it has taken on) which we can not allow to be compromised for to do so would bring a halt to our Lords work.
Things like the resurrection must stand lest all of Christianity be destroyed, for even the apostle Paul said “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men….If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus for merely human reasons, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised,
‘Let us eat and drink,
for tomorrow we die.'”
If Christ is not raised we are left with nothing but a human invention of morality by which to live.
Christianity is different because the LORD not only requires perfection which we can not obtain but then provides the mean by which it is imputed to us by his grace and not by our own means, otherwise we would still be lost. Not other religion is one of grace and destroying the solid brick foundation of those dogmas destroys the Christian faith. I don’t think I am looking to bounce so much as I am looking for a ROCK upon which to build my house.
To be clear I am not opposed to examining other aspects of how we do things as Christians, I believe methodology is always up to examination and change as we adjust to the culture. However we can not compromise out doctrine in the process.
Photograph: Virgil Vaduva