Mark 2:21-22 (NKJV)- “No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; or else the new piece pulls away from the old, and the tear is made worse. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine bursts the wineskins, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins.”
This isn’t the first article that makes the proposition that Christianity must change, and neither will it be the last.
But change into what?
Whether on the conservative side or the liberal, virtually almost everyone thinks that the way Christianity should change is by adopting the patterns of Western Secularism.
The Liberals desire for Christianity to revise and adapt to the ever-increasing philosophy of progressive disintegration of the Natural Law (Dharma) and the literal teachings of Lord Jesus Christ, His Apostles and their disciples.
The Conservatives think that by adopting the externals of secular music, capitalistic marketing and corporate administration, that they will draw in the Millennials into their worship centers and mold them into good tithers.
On both sides of the spectrum, the reality is that Western Christianity has been on a downward trend for decades. Common sense is yelling from the rooftops that as long as the Church continues to insanely hope for change while keeping its modus operandi of obtuse self-destruction, that it will die!
One thing is for sure… “No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment” because the new patch will tear the old garment, since it can no longer stretch.
Lord Jesus was well aware of the fact that the older members of the Synagogue were so stubbornly-inflexible and “set” in their ways, that it would be virtually impossible to reform the Judaism of His day through them.
The fact is that it was the stubbornly-inflexible old folks of the Synagogue and Temple (The Sanhedrin) that got the pagan Romans to unjustly torture and crucify the Master. For the most part, it is contrary to reason to hope for the old slithering serpents of the Synagogues of Satan (Revelation 3:9) to accept and support the true change that is most needed in the Church.
So how is it that Western Christianity should change?
There’s an old Negro-Spiritual that was composed around 1873 titled: “Give Me That Old-Time Religion.” In a nutshell, the original lyrics claim that the Old-Time Religion will lead us out of bondage, and that it will “do when the world’s on fire.” In other words… the Old-Time Religion of Christ and His Apostles will keep us from destruction during days of Great Tribulation such as these.
First of all, those of us who long for true change must accept the fact that the Christianity of Christ is nothing like the denominational (or baptistic “non-denominational”) concepts that we project upon the Christian Church of the first 3 centuries. The Christianity of Christ is an Eastern religion that is transcendental in its philosophy and otherworldly in its spiritual disciplines.
The Christianity of Christ sacrifices all the delusions and illusions with which we have grown comfortable at the altar of Supreme Truth. (2 Cor. 5:15; 1 Jn. 2:6)
Second, the Christianity of Christ claims ALL THINGS unto itself by virtue of Christ’s Kingship over all. (1 Cor. 3:21-23) A beautiful example of this is found in the way in which the Apostle John adopted and adapted the religio-philosophical term LOGOS (usually translated “Word” in our English Bible translations). The philosophical idea behind the term LOGOS is found not just among the Greeks of old, but also among the Indian, Egyptian and Persian systems of philosophy and theology.
The term LOGOS refers to the divine reason and expression of the ONE Creator who transcends all the so-called gods, demi-gods, principalities, powers, and human beings. The self-disclosure of GOD in all of His creation is the principle evidence of His existence. (John 1:9-11) When the Apostle John adopted the term LOGOS in order to refer to Lord Jesus, He was simply setting up the scene for the words of Christ that are quoted in John 14:6-
“I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and no one comes to the Father but through Me.”
Contrary to our modern way of thinking, Christ was not excluding those outside of His immediate circle of disciples nor was he making a condemnatory statement against those who do not get baptized into the Christian Faith.
Jesus was simply making a full self-disclosure of His true essence … just as He did on the day in which He transfigured Himself before Peter, James and John. (Matthew 17) What the Lord did before His senior disciples through action (by showing his transcendental glory and connection with the communion of saints), He was doing through words for the rest of His disciples. The LOGOS or manifestation of God’s plan, purpose and self-expression for all of humankind is fully contained and expressed in the Person of Lord Jesus Christ. This is why the Christianity of Christ is a universal religion for all persons, regardless of race, culture or tradition.
True Christianity will constantly seek to adopt and adapt the philosophical and practical tools of philosophy and spirituality that are found among those who have earnestly sought after the Supreme Personality of The Godhead (The God Most High) in order to share the Good News that Lord Jesus has ushered in a New Age of Righteousness, Justice and Peace for all people, by means of His death and resurrection.
Lord Jesus Christ is indeed the Hope of ALL NATIONS- but in order to preach this Good News, Western Christianity will have to drop its current synagogical mindset of an obtuse religion that seeks to convert people to its grossly-deformed conglomeration of competing factions (denominations) that claim to follow Lord Jesus Christ.
The Western Church must disavow its fear of using philosophical and spiritual tools that confirm the ultimate Truth that myriads of humans have sought for countless millenniums, and is fully found in Lord Jesus Christ.
Third, the Western Church must devolve from its current state of superficial, Joel Osteen, pre-packaged religiosity for the masses and begin to concentrate on making disciples in imitation of the Apostolic Fathers (disciples of the Apostles).
During the first three centuries of the Church, everyone who was initiated into the Christian Faith by means of Holy Baptism was expected to renounce the ungodly patterns of sinful behavior of the world and cleave unto their Pastor-Teachers and the community of saints.
The Christianity of Christ is not a movement that is desperate to fill old buildings with good tithers. True Christianity is a disciplic movement that is transcendental at its core. For instance, the Christians of old considered themselves to be living in heaven while their unregenerate bodies remained on earth in a deathly state until the resurrection of the saints when Christ returns to establish His Messianic reign. (Ephesians 2:6-7; Colossians 3:1-6; Galatians 2:20; et al.)
To the average uninitiated reader, these statements sound contrary to the “Christianity” that they have inherited… AND THEY’RE RIGHT. These teachings sound crazy to the average “Christian” because it is THEY who have been taught a powerless and dying pseudo-Christianity in accordance to the itching ears of the masses. (2 Timothy 4:1-5)
Christianity Must Change
It must return to its disciplic roots.
It must return to Christ.