I left the younger Christian traditions when I left the Baptists. I left them and walked straight into an infant Christian tradition, Pentecostal and charismatic traditions. And I thought, at the time, I was sooo progressive. My mindset didn’t change. I was just a fundamentalist adding extra beliefs to what I had. Changing some, but with the same attitude of certitude that I must be right.
Then a little over a year ago I began to explore. Started checking out the matured traditions. The historical traditions. Tested by time. The theological beliefs that centered and grounded them. Orthodoxy and Catholicism. But even then. It wasn’t enough. It was still focused on an institutional religion based model of gathering. Which works for some. But it isn’t the original model. Or rather, it is. They worshiped at the temple alongside Jews for a while. Until Stephen was martyred. Then the church scattered.
For years I’ve felt a call to the faith of the earliest Christianity. Before they became an institutional religion. See, I learned recently that denominational boxes are much like the stable in The Last Battle. And everyone stuck inside it is chilling, sitting around in a circle chanting: “the Dwarves are for the Dwarves.”
Christ however, calls us to a grander journey. One that takes us further up, and further in. One that calls us higher, and deeper. A walk of faith that happens both, on your own, and in community with others. I began to comprehend this and seek out spiritual disciplines to get me going. I discovered the mystics of the church.
Somewhere along the way though, I missed the point. Even though the mystics of all of church history and even of the scriptures understood and stated it plainly. The point is becoming Love. Becoming whole. It’s time to strip away everything else that has been layered onto our identity.
I have crossed a threshold now. I can go on doing the same things I’ve always done, or I can grow up.