By Andrew J Thompson
I have my own thoughts, and I'm also curious about what others see and think should change in Christianity today. Here are a few of my many thoughts and I would love to hear yours:
1. More humble submission to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
I believe Martin Luther's humility up through 1521 catalyzed the early reformation, and a lack of humility thereafter on the part of many of the reformers, including Luther, stagnated reformation in the years that followed. So many Christian voices and leaders of today, are filled with self-certainty and have little humility toward different opinions. There is more fragmentation in the church today than ever before. IF there is to be unity, growth and purpose, it must come through the leading of the Spirit and not of man - no matter how long his reputation has been built.
2. Understanding the difference between true essentials of faith, and the non-essentials.
In my time as a follower of Christ, I have heard and witnessed so much emphasis within the church on financial success, political victory, community recognition, and self-improvement, I would expect an unbeliever to think the Christian message is that the resurrection of Christ (if even mentioned) begets wealth, power, prestige and good health, but has little to do with eternal life, or the coming of the kingdom of Christ here on earth, as it is in heaven. I pray our focus, as Christians, moves back to our risen savior - in the end, that is what it is all about.
3. Restoring personal piety to its place serving Christ's kingdom rather than self.
The church has always had this battle. The gift of identity means we are always tempted to care only for that which we are given to care for first - ourselves. But Christ's example, more than anything else, teaches us we can rely on God to care for all of our needs. The self is given to us as a vehicle to gain understanding of the greater whole of humanity and creation - not to serve ourselves. We grow the most when we realize that it is God who takes care of us, we are here to take care of that which is around us. Rightly understood, we all have a mission, and a purpose. Collectively, it is to be part of ushering in Christ's kingdom. Individually, it is to do our part to with that which God puts us in touch with. Our greatest reward is communion with Christ - we experience that most in communion with all those we touch.
I'm happy to discuss the many nuances of these ideals and others, in the context of church reformation. I hope this becomes a lively and helpful discussion.
"Never grow weary..."