Free Thought and Why It Is Needed at Church

19 Aug

The notion of free thought is essential to Americans.  In the first amendment to the Constitution, we are guaranteed the right to a freedom of religion, speech, assembly, and the press.  What is often glossed over however is the notion that this concept is rooted in a protestant ethic.  The Catholic Church of the Middle Ages had dominated life and thought throughout much of the time period.  When the Protestant Reformation began, one of the leading tenants of the Reformation was that the Bible alone, not a church, was the only guide to how to live.  Thus I find it quite sad that in modern America, many churches do not allow members the right to interpret the Bible themselves.

 I realize that the Bible itself claims it is not up to private interpretation, however humans will misread passages and some passages seem to conflict, although I believe these conflicts can easily be rectified with a little bit of effort.  There are some issues in the Bible that continue to cause people to wonder what path is right.  Churches have established beliefs and there is nothing wrong with that concept.  Still, I believe churches should realize their different members may not agree with every specific belief of a specific church and wish to attend regardless. 

The important concept to church membership should be an agreement on the basics of faith.  The basics of Christian faith have been established for hundreds of years.  The basics deal with the notion that Christ is equal to God, He was a born of a virgin, and lived a perfect and sinless life.  Christians agree that Christ died on the cross and was resurrected on the third day.  He taught His followers for forty days before ascending to the Father and will one day return to rule and reign forever.  These are the essentials. 

Regardless of what a specific church teaches, the Bible is not exactly clear on the notion of eternal security, when the Rapture and Tribulation will take place, whether miracles and tongues have ceased, or if predestination occurs.  Christians have unfortunately argued over these issues instead of peacefully discussed them for hundreds, if not thousands, of years and will continue until the end of the world.  The Bible doesn’t specify which modern translations can be trusted and used in the church.  The Bible doesn’t give a definite day for what should be considered the Lord’s Day in the modern age, which is why although most churches use Sunday, some still follow the Old Testament and worship on Saturday. As Christians, we should all learn to realize we aren’t all right and we aren’t right on everything.  Perhaps, if we did this, the world would send Christians as more loving, instead of sectarian whiners, who like to fuss over everything.

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