The Basic Question I’m trying to understand and explore is, “Does Christian really describe something culturally centric or faith centric?” The main problem in tackling such a question is the World View lens many of us see the core concepts of Christian Religion.
1. Our Family
There’s no doubt the way our family saw religion plays a major role in what we think about religion. If you had a family who took you to church every time the door was open you’ll see the institution of Christianity different than someone who paid attention to faith later in life.
If your family was interested in liturgy, you’ll see through a lens requiring formality in worship. And if your family was a part of a more relaxed type of environment, you may see liturgy as a rote process with little emotion.
Of course these are grand stereotypes to explore the effects of our family and early childhood on our vision of faith. Several of my atheist friends respond to religion quite differently because of their own experiences as young children in environments that served up the God who wants to judge and destroy.
The question then is, no matter what your view of religion, how much of that view was influenced by the conscious or sub-conscious actions of the family you grew up in. AND…if you are a follower of Jesus today, do you follow Jesus, or do you follow a tradition of Jesus tied to your environment?
I suppose, in order to be honest in this endevor, one would have to know about the Teachings and Message of Jesus from different perspectives. So maybe a better way to answer the question might be, “When you think about Jesus in your own life, what do you think of?”
Is He a judge that is looking to correct you of your mishaps on earth?
Is He a Savior that canceled out all your sin on the cross?
Is He the owner of death and destruction as evidenced by His Resurrection?
Is He a religious mover who challenged the religious leaders of the day?
Is He a political activist interested in re-shaping the government systems of His day?
Was He a revolutionary?
Was He a pacifist, or a man quick to go to war?
Is He a friend, or an aquaintance?
How do you best describe the Jesus you follow today? Of course, all of us would say, “The Real Jesus.” But the “Real Jesus” may look very different if we are honest in describing our view of who that person really is. AND..it may shed some light on the purposeful need to challenge our tradition of family. (As long as we want to challenge that thing)
So let’s do a little experiment.
Who is Jesus to you?
And don’t read any other comments, because I don’t want to shape your view. This is just honest dialogue.