Christianity was supposed to be about becoming like Jesus. We went in the wrong direction.
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Digital Christianity

 

We can use music as a method to illustrate the difference between analog and digital. Old phonograph records had small variations in the groove that represented sound waves. Today CDs have a multitude of “bits” (ones and zeroes) that can be quickly assembled so that an approximation of the original sound wave can be produced.

A parallel can be drawn to the Christian life. If we seek out the truth from God’s word and grow in understanding, we might be called analog Christians. If we pick a denominational flavor and park there, we might be called a digital Christian. If we allow ourselves to think of Christian doctrine as either “right” or “wrong”, we can come to see Christianity as either a “one” or a “zero”

The digital approach to Christianity (one is either right or wrong) offers an assurance that one has achieved completion and even lead one to a smugness (Luke 18:9) that has contributed to denominational antagonism that has divided Christianity for centuries and has even led to the deaths of millions (for example, the Thirty Years War).

An analog perspective on the Christian life can contribute to humility in that we are all learning. A tolerance and compassion for those who have not learned as much as we have can replace a contempt for those who have “got it wrong”.

One aspect of digital Christianity that is crippling is that it stifles the desire to learn and mature. There is no need to learn if one thinks he has achieved completion. We might consider the angles, because even they have a desire to learn as well. (1 Peter 1:12)

Paul admonishes the Corinthians for suing each other and then doing it in a secular court. (1 Cor 6:1). He asks them if there is not anyone wise among them that could settle the dispute. (1 Cor 6:5) It seems that the litigants were more interested in advantage than wisdom or truth. This represents another problem with digital Christianity. We can detach our faith from our daily life because we have come to see it as settled.

Faith becomes an integral part of daily life for those who recognize that they have much yet to learn. They seek out those who have wisdom and desire to grow in understanding and mature in faith. Immaturity is rebuked in the bible (1 Cor 3:1, Heb 5:12). Digital Christianity tends to divert people from individual growth into a measurement of activity or acknowledgment of doctrinal dictums.

Christian maturity might be better measured in terms of humility, kindness, and love. In this Christ is our example, being of “full stature” (Eph 4:13). With our eyes on Jesus, we all can see how far short we fall. However, we should not see ourselves digitally as either like Jesus or not like Jesus. Rather we should see ourselves in a process of growth becoming increasingly more like Jesus.

  

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