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Log In Sign Up. A Theological critique of the Churchless Christianity. Aadarsh Rajbhandari. Conclusion Who are they and what their background?
Who are Churchless Christian? When I tell to people in Germany that i am from Nepal. Most of them asked me did you claimbed the Mount Everst. Most of the Nepalese think that claimbing Everest is for tourist. Most of the time what we think from outside is not the fact of inside. To understand inside, some insider have to tell about them.
There are many who have interviewed and some authors wrote the books on Churchless. Analyzing to these authors, it is problematic to give them a single name because different author has given different name for them; such as Herbert E Hofoer, the author of, "Churchless Christianity", and George Barna and David Kinnaman, the author of "Churchless" called them Churchless.
Herbert E. David Kinnaman also called them " Unchurched or De- churched" where as Gabe Lyons author of "Unchristian" called them unchristian and the author of Church refugees, Josh Packard called them "Dones", which means done with church. There are other authors such as Sam Harris, who is an atheist, and Phil Zukerman, who is secularist call them "Nones", and "Irreligious" respectively.
But as I read the book of Phil and Sam. These none or irreligious people are totally Secularists or atheist and most of them join their organizations. John J. Travis Ph. Dudley Woodberry Ph. Insider Movements: Missiological Realities vs. Travis and J. Elizabeth St. Many a modern educated Muslim is not all that religiously minded; but he must, nevertheless, remain a Muslim for social reasons.
This makes it almost unthinkable for most Muslims even to consider the possibility of becoming a follower of some other religion. Her father had appealed to the missionaries several decades previously, to construct a separate chapel for the five Panikkar families in the village on land which they would provider; however, the missionaries refused. She complained that the local church no longer visits her house.
So she no longer practices Christian faith about gathering. Persecution should not be the case not to attend the church. In China there is underground churches, in Nepal we have small fellowship in private house. They gather in believer house and have fellowship. This incident being dechurched or being follower of Jesus but not attending Church and not changing their sociological or religion identity is not only happening within Christianity in USA, with Hindu in India, with Muslim in Middle East but it is over the glop.
It is equally true with Jewish community. Some Jewish has accepted Jesus is the Messiah but their life is ongoing with their previous socio-religion identity.
Pg25 6 John J. Pg25 7 Herbert E. They are not abandoned with their faith, neither they have join any Irreligious organization such as nones, atheist but they are done with monotonous way of service and the sacrament of church and the life style of churchgoers. Josh Packard found in his survey a man called John, who is such good member that every Pastor would love to have such member but he is no more churchgoer. He said he's done with the church not because of he has encounter any ugly relationship with church staffs or another member of church but because of the preaching and the service.
Background of Churchless Christian These are the person who was rise up in Christian family, used to go Church, who have studied in Christian School and gave their life to Jesus. And these are the people who are followed by the missionaries in the beginning of the century and convince by the gospel of Christ but not having theological basis and knowledge of Christian ethics and history of Christianity. When it comes to denomination, one third of them are Catholics but they never concern to return to same church and have never thought to go different denominational church.
The author of Churchless and Church Refugee mention that this people claim that church has been playing negative roles but when it came to specifically point out those negativity, half of them even could not mention the single negative expect and some of them mention but some of the accusation is not related to Church. They opened several schools on caste Hindu streets for girls. The women missionary teachers would teach about Christianity in the schools, and they would visit 8 John J.
Same ways a woman of a village near Tirunelveli of the Nayar caste spoke of how her husband and son have been believers in Christ for eight years. They both had studied in Christian schools and learned of Christ. Many churchless people cannot afford the risk and conflict of taking baptism and attending the church. They are the people of dependence and lack of freedom. They are generally in a situation of dependence upon others, either financially or socially or as in the case of housewives.
There has been a significant rise in belief in Christ among Hindus in recent years. And very few might be Muslim. Some of them do have positive perspective towards Church and Christianity. They have washed our mind and gave wrong expression of Churchless. Pg37 12 Herbert E. By demostrating above demography i am not trying to proof that there are not the churchless people who really disfavour Christianity. I am just trying to draw margine line of the erena that all of them are not hater of Christianity.
According to the survey of Hofoer in India these people goes big conference, meeting, seminars and occasional gathering like Christmas, Easter, Good Friday etc. Hofoer also mention in his survey that a man near the village Martandam, Kanyakumari District says he goes to church occasionally and also to large public meetings. Let see what their views and perciption of fundamental elements of Christianity. We believe in the value of fellowship and the need for community.
We believe each must walk their own journey and that each must respect the journey of others. We believe no person should be isolated spiritually from any other person. Even some of them categorized Jesus as a moral teacher, great revolutionist, and some of them leave the answer on Jesus nature. Herbert, there are mainly three types of Churchless belief- Jesus was the one and only true incarnation of God, other believes that the only true way to worship God is to worship Jesus Christ and some believes all gods are same but their God is Jesus.
Bible: It is true that most of the Churchless own their personal Bible and read them; few regularly and most of them rarely, few believe infallible and most of them believe part of the bible is authenticable. Bible reading is the most common spiritual activities they participate and the means of spiritual growth for them. Majority of their spiritual growth is isolated with personal bible reading but few of them watch TV show, go to internet, listen Radio, discus the Word of God with friends and family for their spiritual upgrade.
Few of them goes regular and intensive bible study and most of them read selected passage of the Bible because they believe few of the verse or passage only the true Word of God. Most of them are emotionally deviated not theologically. They are not well equipped with the Word of God and even they read the verses and passage out of context.
Secondly, Barna group research data, partnership with American Bible Society proved that only one of ten go in section where they have read entire Bible. And because of that they cannot developed their moral values and life standard on Biblical ethics.
Pg58 20 Herbert E. The one third of the churchless people believe that thier church experience is boaring and tiresome. Only few of them said it is possible to return to church. Why they percieve such idea about church? For that they have other issue to forsake the church and they hold the broad ranges of issues with them. Becuase of this these people have completely ceased to go regular service. They are more concern with the environment than the churchgoers, they involved more in social work than most of the churchgoer and most of them want to make positive difference on society as Jesus did.
So, they like Jesus but Not the Church. Biblical christianity see God as the spirit being but false christianity proclaim God spirit dwells in man made institute, called church. Biblical Christianity believe in unseen God but false Christianity believe that man made organization that is visible lead to God. They no longer want or need a Church. They stress that "all you need is Jesus. One of the man of India mention, he found the cast division inside the church.
Pg36 22 Herbert E. They think that, many of the symbols of Christianity in early days, baptism are just a symbol one of them. They have their own argument not to baptize, some gives the argument of thief that was crucified on cross along with Jesus. On that occasion Jesus said to thief that thief will be with Jesus on paradise and notable point is that thief was not baptized.
To get salvation, it is not necessary to get baptize but you need to confess your sin to Jesus and believe that Jesus is the Savior. Herbert found during his research that the reason not be baptism is that they all have fear in their deep heart about their gods. If they would practice that than the major obstacles to baptism would be solved. Only six percent feel it is wrong, while the other But most plan to remain part of the Churchless Christianity for the foreseeable future.
In striking research undertaken in the mid-eighties and published in , Herbert E. Hoefer found that the people of Madras City are far closer to historic Christianity than the populace of any cities in the western Christian world could ever claim to be. Yet these are not Christians, but rather Hindus and Muslims. In their midst is a significant number of true believers in Christ who openly confess to faith in fundamental Biblical doctrines, yet remain outside the institutional church. The article expands this idea that one does not need to become a Christian or to change his religious practices; he just needs to add Jesus to his spiritual equation:. It will lead not to an indigenous Christianity but to a Christianized Hinduism.
Do the churchless Christians have it right?
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Churchless Christianity (Revised Edition)
A steady stream of books with titles like Pagan Christianity? As a theological category, church could refer to just those who are Christians. But when we use the word church as in, "I'm at church," "we are going to church," "we are the church," we're talking about a gathered body with certain parameters. In the New Testament, you get a good sense that the church looks a little different in Acts than it does in Corinthians and in Timothy. But there's teaching. There's singing.
“Churchless” Christianity – The New Way of Doing Missions
One of the tragic occurrences in the evolution of contemporary religion is the presence of "Churchless Christianity". The assertion that the followers of this Christianity believe is that it is the Lord Jesus Christ who saves us, not the Church. They no longer want or need a Church. They stress that "all you need is Jesus. Few would dispute the fact that it is the Lord Jesus Christ who truly saves us. We who are joined to Him are joined to the Church.