Hearty Heresy

A New Definition of Brand Xianity
June 18, 2007, 6:19 am
Filed under: Christianity, Faith, Heresy, Religion, Theology

I found the following quote in Matthew Fox’s The Coming of the Cosmic Christ. Once again, a much more competent theologian makes clear something that I’ve been able to only hint at: “What has been passing for Christianity during these nineteen centuries is merely a beginning, full of weakness and mistakes, not a full-grown Christianity springing from the spirit of Jesus.” Albert Schweitzer said it. And it really sums up my gripe with Brand Xianity, or Christian orthodoxy in the west. The creeds that are generally considered to be orthodox (the Nicene Creed, the Chalcedonian Creed, the Apostles’ Creed and the Athanasian Creed) have little to do with the actually spirit and teachings of Jesus. At best, they are “merely a beginning.” I’m happy to see that some Christians are giving up on the need for a creed–I heard Doug Padgitt from Solomon’s Porch speak a month or so ago, and it sounds like his kind of Christianity leaves a lot of room for individuals to develop as Christians at their own pace, in their own way. But I’m disheartened when I read blog after blog by Brand Xian pastors preaching the same old tired message (to be read with a whiny sarcastic inner voice): humanity’s sinful, God’s got a plan, Jesus suffered for your sins, hell is real and those who don’t believe are going to fry, on and on and on and on. None of this sounds close to the spirit of the living Jesus that still manages to shine through the mixed up muddle of the gospels. I’m seeking that “full-grown Christianity springing from the spirit of Jesus.” Really, I am. And it has nothing to do with orthodoxy.


5 Comments so far
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It’s interesting. Creeds often came from a council’s need to defend the faith from heresy, or from people needing to declare their faith at a particular point in history. But I’m with you. I’m going back to the basics. Love God. Love your neighbor. Love yourself.

Thanks for the post.

Comment by tribalchurch

That’s kind of my complaint with the notion of “humble orthodoxy.” The kind of humility practiced in the spirit of Jesus has nothing to do with any sort of orthodox formulations of faith–other than, as you say, love God, love your neighbor, love yourself. Thanks for the comment. (Looking forward to your book, by the way!)

Comment by heartyheretic

Seeking “full grown Christianity”? Not me. I seek full expression of the Christ Consciousness instead.

Comment by Grace

I am seeking a full grown humanity.

Comment by pastorofdisaster

Thanks, Grace & Brian–good points. I’m thinking that the “spirit of Jesus” is, indeed, a full-grown humanity. And if we add to that a “full expression of the Christ Consciousness,” we might have a “full-grown Christianity.” Of course, that type of Christianity would make no claim to being the sole source of salvation, which is exactly what Brand Xianity does.

Comment by heartyheretic

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