Today there were two articles each with a different approach to practicing the Christian faith. Each would make sense to some group of people. To me, they seem as different as night and day.
The first was an introduction to a book on the history of the Catholic faith. Much of it could also apply, I believe, to many Protestant denominations. The message was faith is all about sin. Humans so so sinful, the world would be a hopeless place were it not for Christianity:
“Rooted in universal human nature, sin is a constant in man’s affairs, although its character and intensity vary in time and place. Those who deny that tendency toward evil in basic to human nature cannot make sense of history, which becomes merely endless, incomprehensible tragedy……Men are trapped in a history they cannot control…”
This bizarre view of humans is not the only version of the faith. There is a more optimistic one.
It is often called the “emerging church” and meets in rented spaces not used by businesses on Sunday mornings. These would be movie theaters and bars.
The emerging church does not dwell on sin and its sister, hell, but on the acceptance of people as they are. Starting such churches, “church planting”, has come to be seen by young pastors as more exciting than entry level positions in established churches.
To focus on sin, or to ignore sin, that’s what the future is all about.
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