Primitive Christianity Revived, Again
A problem I see is what I call functional atheism. We may express belief in God, theistic or non-theistic really doesn't matter here, but live our lives as if God is does not exist, relying only on our own efforts. On a corporate level I find this in our institutions which look to secular models for guidance, with "long range planning" committees and the like. How do we do long range planning when we don't know to what God will call us? Do we trust God to lead us?
Nicholas, I really like your idea!, as a personal prayer. Now how do we get that into Faith and Practice? :)
Anyway I'm going to try it out. I like the way it ignores our tribal notions of belief/non-belief and gets right down to following Christ.
Gene, I really struggle with trusting God, and not feeling as though I have to carry my burdens all alone. Much of the time I feel I'm trying to stay in complete control of everything and everyone around me. That is what you are calling functional atheism, maybe in me it's even functional solipsism. Olivia earlier in the thread talked about letting God carry us.
This post is excellent!
Forrest Curo said:
Oh, "secular world view" is right up there with those other powers and principalities. ""Sex, fashion, and sports are all among the angelic powers," sayeth Springfellow. "So, particularly, is "money." Many of these (___?)'s are on the vague side, not so easy to pin with a word.
In George Fox's Journal we find this already getting problematical:
"One morning, as I was sitting by the fire, a great cloud came over me, and a temptation beset me; and I sat still. It was said, "All things come by nature"; and the elements and stars came over me, so that I was in a manner quite clouded with it. But as I sat still and said nothing, the people of the house perceived nothing. And as I sat still under it and let it alone, a living hope and a true voice arose in me, which said, "There is a living God who made all things." Immediately the cloud and temptation vanished away, and life rose over it all; my heart was glad, and I praised the living God.
"After some time I met with some people who had a notion that there was no God, but that all things come by nature. I had a great dispute with them, and overturned them, and made some of them confess that there is a living God. Then I saw that it was good that I had gone through that exercise. We had great meetings in those parts; for the power of the Lord broke through in that side of the country."
At this point I think we've all been so thoroughly imbued with the tendency to rely on that lens first and foremost-- that it's hard to recognize for that very reason.
"What shall we do about this?" -- and immediately we are aflame with "practical" steps and measures to take, as if it really were all up to our unaided selves.
Not so much "to struggle against"-- but to recognize. To see where a misleading perspective has weakened us, name it openly as illusory, pray that all may find our ways to the true foundation of the world.