Continuity through practices

On Saturday I posted about how our household (which is predominantly Christian) is trying to make sure we are clear about making sure there is space for folks who aren’t Christian. We want to make sure we can work alongside and learn from people who have other worldviews, not just people who have worldviews similar to our own. I’ve noticed that when groups make this decision there is often concern from Christians that the group will lose it’s Christian character. I don’t have that concern because I believe the project’s Christian character is preserved in our practises. (I’ve also been part of other Christian projects where we’ve involved people from other faiths or no faith, and we’ve been able to do that by focussing on Christian practices.)

I don’t think Christianity is generally known as a faith that emphasises practices. Generally we think of Chritianity as being focussed on beliefs. However, the gospels suggest that Jesus first invitation to his early disciples was to come and follow him. By looking at Jesus’ behaviour (rather than looking for theological doctrines) I think we can find the kind of practices that Jesus was teaching his followers:

  • befriending the stranger
  • sharing meals across social boundaries
  • providing access to medical treatment
  • reconciling with enemies
  • bringing marginalised pople back into the community

Those Christian practices are all things that we do in different ways as part of our project. They don’t require people to adopt our religion to participate. But I think they do preserve continuity with the teachings of the founder of our movement.

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