Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Christian Fundamental

Christianity is a simple thing, despite what C.S. Lewis thought (see Book 2.Chapter 2). It may look complicated due to the labyrinth of doctrinal formulations that have arisen through the years, but at its heart it is oh, so simple! Though you may find it shocking for me to say, Christianity is not really a question of what doctrines one holds at all. In truth, there is only one fundamental in Christianity-- Christ! Christianity is not a philosophy, nor a lifestyle, nor a hobby, and certainly not a religion-- it is a personal and spiritual fellowship with Christ. If you have the Son, you have the life!

Although there are many verses which speak to what makes one a Christian (or what doesn't, for that matter), generally the message is quite clear: one is a Christian if they perceive Christ in the proper light, period. If you think I'm overstating things here, let's explore together the following verse of scripture, and see if we don't end up seeing things the same way.

"...if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."   (Romans 10:9-10 NKJV)
Despite appearances, the order of belief and confession is not given by this verse. That stated is more a consequence of Paul's earlier quotation of Deuteronomy 30:14 than it is of any necessary sequence in the order of salvation. Logic, I think, would dictate belief in the heart preceding confession by at least some number of microseconds, but really, such considerations are beside the point. The text gives but one true essential, one fundamental, for being saved-- knowing with certainty that Jesus rose from the dead and thereby established himself as Lord. Simple, straightforward, but worthy of some more exploration.

Christianity is not founded upon the rigors of practice, as say yoga is; nor upon the formulations of logic and philosophy, as say Platonism; but rests instead upon a singular, seminal, historical event. As in all such events, the musings of those who follow and the spinning of analysts looking back have no impact on the work finished in time. What happened, happened and the genie can't be put back in the bottle. To be boorish, it is what it is, and all that's left to those who follow is how they will respond to it.

More to come...