Friday, March 06, 2009

What Is Conservative Christianity? (Part 5)

Kevin Bauder continues his discussion of the characteristics of conservative Christianity. He says that conservatives adhere to the command, "Tinker not!" (That's my shorthand summation of his essay.) Read it all here.

Just to encourage you to read it all, here is his conclusion.

At the beginning of the twenty‐first century, within the greater part of American Christianity, the church is no longer the church. It has taken the form of social clubs in which members wear the trappings of their religion much as a Shriner wears his fez. It has taken the shape of therapy groups for the curing of addictions, obsessions, and co‐dependencies, but without a sense of the profound offense of sin. It has taken the shape of pep rallies in which Jesus is treated as a rock star or a sports celebrity. It has taken the shape of trinket shops filled with bric‐a‐brac like WWJD bracelets and Precious Moments® figurines. It has taken the shape of a Purpose‐Driven® ecclesiastical vaudeville in which people on a stage pretend to be having spiritual experiences.

American Christians have chosen those practices and even doctrines that appeal most to themselves. The result is that what passes for church in America today is an insipid religious pretense that lacks the power to command souls or transform lives, let alone to challenge the unsaved world with respect to issues of sin, righteousness, and judgment. We are left with a shallow religiosity in which more and more people are won to less and less Christianity. With increasingly rare exceptions, the institutional church in America is not a bride.

The church does not belong to us. It belongs to Christ. He is its Head and its Lord. It is His household. Within His household, only He has the right to say what ought to be done. A genuinely conservative Christianity will reject the pretense of innovation and cling faithfully to the apostolic tradition as it is preserved in Scripture alone.

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