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Posts Tagged ‘ethics’

Christianity was Young Once

July 11, 2011 Leave a comment

“The oldest surviving document delineating regulations for church life… usually goes by the title The Didache…. After establishing ethical expectations for the community, The Didache then prescribes the proper performance of Christian rituals, establishes rules for the community organization and discipline, and concludes with apocalyptic prophecies” (Oxford Study Bible, page 119).

I find this compelling. Today, Christianity is a tradition two thousand years old, with all the inertia, the generational ancestry of practice, that one could need. Today, I consider ways to transform or even recreate my tradition, and balk in the doorway because one person does not have the weight to create that kind of inertia: the kind it would take to affect the direction of such a force.

But once, Christianity was young. Once, they wrote a document defining what it looked like, because it was new and had no inertia, no ancestry, no established practice.

I suppose we have permission to do so again. I suppose what will last is what resonates, and continues to resonate, with those who encounter it.

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My Faith Must Be of This Land

January 29, 2011 Leave a comment

I paused from my study to read back over these entries, trying to make sense of something that eludes me. It has to do with this subject of lineage and place and how they affect religion.

I think I understand how we got here: how the history of ancient Israel came to be so important to us contemporary American descendants of European pagans. It’s a strange story, but logical enough when you lay it out.

We Americans are just as strange, ourselves. We’re not Europeans (though we each have a nation or two across the Atlantic to claim for a heritage), and we’re not natives (though we were born here). We’re the starling among birds, the rock dove, the non-native blackberry that has become Read more…