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Prospects for a new face of Christianity

Posted by direwolff on December 15, 2006

If I hadn’t read it with my own eyes I wouldn’t have believed it, but Jay Bakker (son of the infamous Jim & Tammy Faye Bakker (now Jim Bakker and Tammy Faye Messner) has penned a piece that appeared on CNN (titled, What the hell happened to Christianity), which is truly inspiring. The inspiration it brings is not that of trying turning us all into Christians which has seemed to be status quo of so many fundamentalist groups, but of a more tolerant voice that understands and appreciates our differences and acknowledges them. Jay follows in his father’s foot steps in becoming a minister himself (of the Revolution Church), but of what appears to be a very different church with a more empathetic set of beliefs. As he correctly puts it in this article, it’s a path much needed if his faith is to continue, which in my opinion would be a short road if it continues to spew the brand of condemnation and bile about anything it doesn’t understand or agree with, that we have become accustomed to.

Here’s a noteworthy excerpt from the article:

This brings us to the big issues of American Christianity: Abortion and gay marriage. These two highly debatable topics will not be going away anytime soon. Obviously, the discussion centers around whether they are right or wrong, but is the screaming really necessary? After years of witnessing the dark side of religion, Marc and I think not.

Christians should be able to look past their differences and agree to disagree. This allows people to discuss issues with respect for one another. Christians are called to love others just as they are, without an agenda. Only then will Christianity see a return to its roots: Loving God with all of your heart and loving your neighbor as yourself.

An interesting message indeed.

While I’m always ready to point out the abuses by the new brand of Christians that has emerged over the past 20 years, I’m also happy be able to point out the good that is coming out from the disgust the newer generations are feeling from the kidnapping of their faith, and how they’re prepared to handle it. Jay and Marc Brown’s (a Revolution Church member) words are well aligned with spirituality rather than the religious fervor that has affronted us over the past 6 years in particular. This is certainly the beginning of a path where we might all be able to live together again afterall.

I do wonder if this path will be strong enough to hold and draw more followers against the will of such frightening and evil leaders as Pat Robertson and Jerry Fallwell (who even on 9/11 chose to say some hateful things).  The good news here is that given their ages I’ll place my bets with the rookies to help bring about the necessary changes since they’ll still be left standing long after the ol’ farts pass.  Christianity may do nothing directly for me, but it sure is nice to know that the next generation of Christians are people with a greater sense of self and less of a need for the hypocrisy so many espoused in recent times.

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