Monday, September 28, 2009

What is a "post Christian?"

My good friend asked me this a few days ago. He must have peeked at my Facebook profile.

First, to be a Post-Christian, you have to have been a Christian. No exceptions there. So why not "ex-Christian?"

Think of it like being in "recovery." You still know you like the juice but you know it's really not healthy for you. You're attracted to the content, but you know it to be much less than it makes itself out to be.

You've concluded that the categories and concepts of Christianity no longer work. They don't apply to modern existence nor can they be reconciled with the knowledge humans now have of sociology and psychology let alone the cultural and historical origins of Christianity.

The categories represent circular logic, are dishonest, superstitious and often produce the opposite behavior of what they value. They may be more harmful than helpful.

The irony is that to label these beliefs as harmful implies a center from which to evaluate. You can call it a moral center, oddly enough, formed by an impulse some would call uniquely "Christian." So Christian maturity leads to the rejection of itself. Somewhere within Christian tradition is the commitment to honesty and justice that produce the seeds of its own demise.

Yet, the attraction for the central "theme" is still there. It's not easy to walk away from the counter-cultural moral power of Jesus the man. It's not easy to walk away from the concept that there is a spiritual dimension at the core of life.

The post-Christian looks ahead, like Dietrich Bonhoeffer, to a "religionless Christianity." He or she contemplates a future where dogma is dead but where love is alive. Lifestyle without name. Morality without "God."

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