Where are you? To what place on this earth has God called you to reside? What is your mission there? How does “humble” and “grateful” appear where God put you?
It’s not for anyone to write religious rules for another. However, you would have to expect that a fresh approach to a Christian Culture is little more than the observable features of a religion. But we don’t want something so narrowly defined that it doesn’t travel well. And we cannot forget that religion is simply the human teaching and activity in pursuit of the divine call to faith. Each individual must answer God’s personal call, yet we are expected to fellowship with others. You’ll have to draw your own boundaries of inclusion and exclusion, but for the sake of building a Christian Culture, they have to be pretty broad and soft.
Given all that I have taught on my two blogs, what would it look like if a significant number of people discovered an affinity for my religious expression? Aside from pointing you to Radix Fidem as the underlying approach, there has to be some effort to define some abstraction of the Law Covenants into our world today. It has to turn into customary conduct that people will recognize as unique and identifiable. That’s the whole point in having a witness; we profess a common faith through common external manifestations.
For now, let’s review some of the things we are not.
We don’t wear funny costumes. There is no religious uniform for Radix Fidem. There are plenty of general guidelines in the New Testament. For example, there should be an obvious difference between the sexes. We should avoid both worldly ostentation along with appearing as low-life scum. In other words, our manner of dress and coiffure should appear as nothing in particular. Ladies, you are neither a hooker nor a red-carpet prancing star. Guys, you aren’t thugs or billionaires in suits. Don’t be a sucker for the latest fashion trends, either. There’s nothing wrong with an artistic decoration here and there, but it needs to be your own artwork, or from someone close to you. And for Christ’s sake, do we have to talk about not showing too much skin?
We don’t talk about “getting saved” because the American brand of evangelical religion has hijacked that phrase. You probably know what Protestants are referring to with that phrase, but in the Mediterranean Basin during the First Century, that phrase referred to finding God’s favor. Yes, we do teach that spiritual birth happens and that you won’t get to see Jesus face to face without it. But we also teach that it’s not something you seek as if you could gain it on your level. Whatever part we humans have in that radical change, there is no formula for it. Instead, we talk about what it does to you; we point to what comes with it. We talk about a life consistent with God’s divine Presence through an overwhelming sense of conviction about things.
Thus, we speak often in terms of Noah’s Covenant because the Apostles recommended it (Acts 15). We talk about how the Law of Moses was a particular application of Noah to a certain people, in a certain time and place, but that it died with Christ. So if someone wanted to cling to their Jewish heritage, they’ll have to understand how Jesus taught Moses, not how the Talmud perverted Moses. But obviously we aren’t pro-Israel and we eschew Dispensational Theology. We aren’t particularly pro-Islam or pro-Palestinian, either. We are disengaged from politics.
We aren’t into building unique facilities for religious purposes. I’d even go so far as to suggest it’s a waste of resources. There’s nothing wrong with humans making wise use of God’s Creation, but we should be characterized as preferring natural settings. Don’t let human accomplishments get in the way of connecting with Creation in reverence for our Creator. Obviously, if you live in a harsh climate, you’ll need to use some kind of protective structure, but simplicity is the key, and simply occupying some appropriate space for the time of communal worship and fellowship is fine. We are otherworldly and not materialistic.
Nor are we not in the publishing business. There’s nothing inherently wrong with printing stuff on dead trees, but we are moving toward the Network Age and virtual everything. The Internet is our flower bed in which we sprouted. There are plenty of ways to get your favorite materials into a printed form. And for Christ’s sake, don’t get hung up on any one author, least of all yours truly. I don’t write Scripture, okay? Maybe my role is in some ways apostolic, but don’t you dare make me into a revered figure after I die. Don’t put my name on stuff; I’m just a footnote in historical records. My objective in writing so much is that each of you can grow enough to write your own version of everything.
We aren’t into professionalizing our leadership. Scholarship is good, generally necessary, but we flatly reject the Western epistemology behind typical academic institutions. Ours is a contemplative approach. We believe the starting point is a heart of conviction that can discern the living Truth directly. We teach the existence of a moral sphere that we can tap into, that we can sense our Lord’s character and personality without human intercessors. The value of education is not in building a great intellect, but to equip a mind that can organize and implement that ineffable and eternal moral truth in the context of our human existence. We aim to boost that capability in everyone, because it’s highly likely that we all shall be called upon to lead sooner or later.
We don’t pretend to be egalitarian, and deny that it’s possible. No two of us has the same gifts and calling. Leadership isn’t a privilege earned; it’s a burden conferred when the time comes. So we also avoid strict hierarchies in favor of roles defined locally. Each group uses whomever shows up and does only what those people can do. But at the same time, we recognize that somebody has to play elder and someone has to act as priest. It saves time if those roles are assigned, but it’s not inherently necessary. We seek to build moral conviction and a sense of certainty in everyone, but we know that God’s blessings require a structure that promotes stability.
That’s enough for now. Questions?