I am finding there is a paradigm problem in Christianity – or as the old saying goes ‘people who forget the past are doomed to repeat it’…well…what if they don’t know where they are going? Is there still a type of ‘doom’ there?
I have found that many people within Christianity do not have a paradigm they follow as part of their faith. I’ll show you a few examples so you can see what I mean:
(a) Matthew’s paradigm is ‘follow Jesus’…how do we do that? Well there is this step – ‘repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand’…but what is that kingdom? Thank you beatitudes – an index to the teachings about the kingdom of God. It explains how to follow Jesus (this kingdom) – and what this kingdom is all about.
(b) John’s paradigm is wound up in the idea ‘the word was made flesh’. The word is ‘the word of God’ being made flesh is ‘living it in our reality’. So we will find a book complete with the teachings of Jesus (about God) and how by living them we can see the kingdom of God come alive.
I like both paradigms myself – they help to incorporate a vision of what this Christian walk is all about – ‘following/discipleship’ or ‘Living the Word of God daily’. But both help encapsulate a goal for the faith, a pathway, a foundation if you will – to build from.
This lacks in Christianity in general – there seems to be no set paradigm to attach to in churches. And when one is presented – it’s choppy and unsound. This for example:
(a) The ‘accept Jesus’ pattern is about a point of conversion…in which the person accepting is now ‘saved’. That’s the paradigm – it changes from church to church as to what is next and needed – but the essence is ‘holding onto your salvation so as not to lose it’. Problem is – what if they do lose it? They really are not given a good foundational pattern to build from.
The paradigms used in churches are not very completed or well rounded – the best attempts are seen in an article of faith – and even then – what exactly is that article of faith asking you? Does it contain the golden rule? How about the 2 great commandments? How about God is love? What about ideas concerning judgement? Humility? Mercy? Compassion? Equality? Money? Responsibility?
Those articles are actually not paradigms as much as they are statements thinking about the mystery of God. No, a paradigm should be some little form you can use to define your faith (the foundational statement)…and what that faith will become. Otherwise, you might not know where you are going.
What is you foundational statement – paradigm for your faith?