I overheard the girls talking at a table nearby.
“Ultimately the gospel is what matters. We all just need to quit trying to say this is right and that is wrong and be at peace with each other. People keep drawing too many lines in the sand… Forget the peripheral and concentrate on what really matters: the gospel.”
I stirred my coffee and blinked at the dark bubbles on the surface. Was she right?
In the comment stream of the blogs I follow, women – moms, especially – continually postulate about peace. “Stop telling us what to do and how to live,” They say. “All we need to do is love God and each other.”
Is that true?
I set out to discover the truth for myself.
Church history is laced with ‘trends’ of Christianity. During the Enlightenment of the 18th century, reason and intellectualism were very prevalent; but the next generation sought to understand the emotions of God, which gave rise to the spiritualism of the Quakers, Shakers, Mennonite and Amish sects. Over the years these trends rise and fall, many times caused by children reacting to the influence of parents who were either too ‘free’ or too ‘strict’. Whole church movements are caused by generations who see a need for a fresh understanding of the gospel, and this renewed seeking results in new behaviors. Today’s culture is no different: we have the ‘young, restless, and Reformed’, the YWAM-Toms-and-beanie worship leaders, the time-resistant homeschool purity-ringers and many more pockets of Christian belief. The church appeals for unity and demands we get rid of the ‘periphery’ – those divisive parts of Christianity – in order to unite….