Tuesday, October 16, 2012

From Orthodoxy to Orthopraxis

Part of the reason we are experiencing a seismic shift in the religious landscape in America is the church's obsession with orthodoxy, i.e., "right belief."  The world doesn't care about the details of what we believe.  They do care about orthopraxis, i.e., "right practice."  They want to see a sermon lived out, not preached with words alone.

Last week I attended a lecture by Dr. Robin Meyers, author, pastor, and professor in Oklahoma.  He thinks Christians are selling a Jesus today who is not who Jesus really is.  For example, he cites the Sermon on the Mount and observes that there is not one word about what to believe.  For Jesus it is about doing and practicing a faith in God. 

Fast forward to 325 A.D. to the Council of Nicaea called by Emporer Constantine with the charge to the bishops to determine the fundamental beliefs of Christianity.  From this we have the Nicene creed which I had to memorize during my confirmation classes.  "I believe in God, the Father, Almighty, maker of heaven and earth..."  Meyers points out that this creed does not help us know how to live in the world as a Christ follower. 

What would Church look like if we shifted our focus to the orthopraxis of the Sermon on the Mount?

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