I grew up in a fairly conservative Christian tradition. One that believed that their way was the only way. I heard that preached from the pulpit. I learned that in Sunday School. I sang it in the hymns.
Fortunately, I went away to a Christian school and learned better. And, as an adult my life as a worshipper has been somewhat ecclectic, preferring to join a local body and not stick with any particular religious tradition.
Still within Christianity there are certain norms. But in recent years, those norms have been challenged by new traditions, or the dropping of traditions altogether. Church is casual. Church is contemporary. And I think that’s okay because, while the gospel does not change, times change and people change. The church of the 1900s was not the church of the 1700s. So there’s no reason the church of the 2000s needs to be the church of the last century.
But beyond that, I’m gaining new understandings of what it means to be a follower of Christ. What it means to be his disciple. In that understanding is a realization that the American and European churches are no longer the center point of the worlds Christian population. European cathedrals stand empty. Many Americans head to the beach or the golf course than to the House of God.
In 1900, 80% of the world’s Christian population was in Europe and North America. By 2000 that number was down to 50%. Some believe that by the year 2025 that number will be completely reversed.
Christians in Africa and South America don’t worship like Americans. They don’t live like Americans. And while that may be hard to accept, it’s reality.
So it’s with those eyes I look at what it’s like to be a 50-something, middle class, white American, Christian male. And sometimes it means I need to step out of my comfort zone. And that’s okay
After all, isn’t that what Jesus did?
I believe this.
365 Things I Believe is a revisioning of a year long web project. I initially launched the blog 365 Things I Believe because I think there are important things I have to say. There are eternal truths that are non-debatable, although I realize they’re not universally accepted.
So for a year I did a daily post of one thing I believe to be an indisputable truth. I’m relaunching here at The Write Side of My Brain and will continue through the next year to re-post (mostly) from the original project.
This time graphics and commentary are included. You can buy today’s print here. And, by the end of a year, if not sooner, you’ll be able to purchase the entire series in ebook format.