Colonialization- A way we are being torn apart

In one of the most documented Creed’s in the Christian tradition, we have a line that says “We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.”

If we begin by taking the word one, what does this one mean? For me, it must mean that the church is Oneness. Unified.

When we take the word Holy. The word Holy means to be set apart. This is where I feel like we have gone wrong, is that we have created “Holy Colonies”. These “Holy Colonies” thus set themselves apart, and, often become violent towards other “colonies”. We establish a very dualistic mind which becomes an us vs them, mindset. When we see clearly, in Jesus, that God is for everyone. The only persons Jesus cuts out, are those who cut others out. In this, we now see how damaging these “Holy Colonies” now become. We see statements like:
You need to believe X,Y,Z to be a Christian. You have to do practice X,Y,Z to be a Christian. And, if you don’t believe these things, and, do these things, you are no longer part of the community.

In the “Holy Colonies” we often find the defenders of Truth. They need to defend doctrine X, Y, Z. In one of the very few things I have learned in this life, I have learned this: Truth, being God, does not need to be defended. Because, God is almighty and all-powerful, he does not need us to defend him. He needs us to defend others. Especially, those who can’t defend themselves. And, if we are not allowed to challenge and doubt, X,Y,Z stated beliefs, then how are we going to be set free by this stated Truth. Truth, is only Truth, as far as its existential value it gives us. That freedom, produces a type of person. A person who looks like radical Love, Peace, Hope and Faith.

Which brings us to Catholic. The original meaning of Catholic, meant universal. So, we as a Church are called to be a Unified, Set Apart, and, Universal Church.

The last word is apostolic. Apostolic means to be sent. This is the importance of missional community, and, missional practice. We exist for the Church, yes, but, we also exist for the world. We don’t have to reform or convert them into our “Holy Colonies”. My fear is, is that when we convert them into our “Holy Colonies”, we become like Pharisees and travel over seas to create sons of Hell, like they did. We exist for the poor, the oppressed, the broken, the needy, the orphans and widows. We are called to heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those with leprosy,  and cast out demons. We exist for others.

So here are some questions:

1. How can we participate in oneness, while, there is a clear disjunction of many different sects and denominations in our current faith?

2. How can we keep our own uniqueness individually, while respecting the individuality of the other?

3. How can we eliminate our “Holy Colonies” to maintain our Unified, Holy, Universal Church?

4. What does it mean for a world to exist for the world?


8 thoughts on “Colonialization- A way we are being torn apart

  1. gabe says:

    I think we are a people of unclean lips… Pride, hate and stubbornness overshadow humility, love, and grace. We have to approach Christ personally before we can approach Christ communally.

    I am not certain holy colonies are inherently bad. The problem is that something can’t be truly holy unless it is sanctified by God. Israel was a Holy nation because God set it apart, not because they believed the right things or were superior to other nations… When we set up up our own colonies of like-minded people and declare them holy, we are fools or worse.

    “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
    But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.
    If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world” (James 1:19-27, ESV).

    • mfries05 says:

      Love these thoughts Gabe. I agree with you. I think what we see now (Holy Colonies) are often self appointed. An us vs them mindset. We have the Truth, and, they are wrong.

      Its the reasons we have conservatives hating liberals (vice versa), protestants hating catholics (vice versa), and, so on snd so forth. We see this in Church History all the time. When Christians gained power under Constantine, shortly after, Christians were killing each other and the world for bad doctrine. When the reformation happened, Zwingli went after the Mennonites. The Irish Catholics and Protestants. These are the types of Holy Colonies.

  2. Paul Bishop says:

    I sympathize, because God desires the unity in His church. In Ephesians we are commanded to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. These divisions between Arminians/Calvinists, charismatics/cessationists, the various End Times views… these are all fine points of theology. Line up a statement of faith between an Arminian and Calvinist, and I’d guarantee they’d be in 80% agreement at least. Too often we defend what are only systems, not core Gospel truths.

    But this can go too far as well. There are some truths about God that are essential to be believed in order to maintain membership in the community. The Trinity, Divinity of Christ, salvation by faith, paradise and hell, Scripture, etc. are foundational. What we do as Christians (orthopraxy) flows out of our beliefs (orthodoxy). Further, they are worth defending. I don’t understand this idea that “God doesn’t need us to defend Him” so don’t bother. The Bible tells us to defend the truth (1 Peter 3.15). Yes, God doesn’t NEED anything per se, but He’s chosen to use people to glorify Himself, thus confidently defending the truth against attack is a God-honoring and necessary activity.

    That said, I’m optimistic about increasing evangelical unity, especially in regard to global missions. The Lausanne Conference is a great example of this.

    • mfries05 says:

      Paul, I would say that this need to defend God, is different than defending doctrine. I believe we are called to sound doctrine, however, what does that produce (orthorpraxi). So conversations on doctrine, should always be in love. I am an adamant believer in historical orthodoxy. Doctrine should not tear human beings apart, unless it is being used to degrade others. You know?

    • mfries05 says:

      Oh and Paul, Capital T truth, means Absolute, being God. I don’t think we Christians can even agree on your foundation of beliefs (even though I do affirm them).

  3. my heart lept for joy reading that God doesn’t need us to defend him, but to defend others. I am rapidly losing patience with those who think that the truth with disappear without them, allthewhile love has always been the main vehicle for truth.

  4. Paul Bishop says:

    Yes, I agree that conversations on doctrine should be in love, but I think it’s important to not compromise on essential doctrines as well. I say this because I find it difficult myself. When you love someone, you want to be as unified with them as possible, making compromise a real temptation!

    That said, it would be nice if people holding to orthodoxy would become more of what love means. We give lip service of “love,” maybe give a sentence or two about it, then proceed to “tear human beings apart” as you were saying. The canard is something like “the best way to love people is to tell them the truth,” but somehow everything in 1Corin 13 is lost.

  5. […] Now – having said all that, this really isn’t about FailBlog. It more about the increasing willingness of our society to see things in black and white. Recent case studies come to us from our lawmakers: the fiasco in Wisconsin where all their Senate Democrats decided to come here to Illinois to take a short vacation (with similar stories in other states), and silly budget votes and government shutdowns taking place in Washington D.C. These people get paid way too much to argue like children and pass legislation completely along party lines. But how can we fault our legislators when they’re just reflecting the mood of the country? Researchers tell us that we are increasingly self-segregating ourselves – moving into areas where people look and think just like we do. It happens in politics, and it happens in our churches. One person called these groups “holy colonies“. […]

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