Life in the Bubble

On his blog, Jesus Creed, Scot McKnight writes these confessional words about his religious upbringing.

“I grew up a Trumanist Christian, as in the Truman Show with Jim Carrey. That is, I grew up in a bubble, protected from the rest of the Church by a protective dome that prevented outside interference. As we drove to church every Sunday morning, for a double-dose, both Sunday School and the Sermon, we passed a Lutheran Church. Sometimes I felt sorry for those who attended that church — though, of course, they didn’t get to church as early as we did.

We were Baptists; the rest of the world, churched or unchurched, was going to hell. I hate to be so crass, but I’m telling you our (perceived) truth. And the reason we were going to heaven was because we alone believed the Bible as it was really taught. What was taught could be snagged from the notes of the bottom of our Scofield Bibles. We didn’t join forces with any other churches, mostly because they were “liberal” and being “liberal,” the Dante-like lower circle of the inferno, was a sure ticket to hell. We alone were faithful to the Bible.

As he continues writing on his blog, McKnight shares the experiences that led him away from “Trumanism.”

Question: Have you experienced Trumanist Christianity? That you and your group were alone the remaining, remnant-like faithful of the Church?”

Reading these words makes me thankful for my restoration heritage. Not that we have never slipped into “Trumanist” tendencies, we have done so — I have done so. But while our practice has been far from perfect, the movement always has had the great ideal of being “Christians only, but not the only Christians.”

I love the line about dismantling denominations from The Last Will and Testament of The Springfield Presbytery (a foundational document of the restoration movement) – “We will that this body die, be dissolved, and sink into union with the Body of Christ at large: for there is but one body and one spirit, even as we are called in one hope of our calling.”

May God forgive us for “Trumanism.” May God protect us all from the sectarian, denominationalist spirit of “Trumanist Christianity. “

Leaving Christ Out Of Christmas

Stanford Chambers wrote the following article entitled, “Leaving Christ out of Christmas.” It was printed in the December 1928 issue of Word and Work, edited by R. H. Boll.

Leaving Christ out of Christmas
A very common way of writing it now is “Xmas” – leaving Christ out of Christmas. So also is He largely left out of modern observance of the day professedly kept in His honor. What is there in the season’s revelry and carousal, and fleshly indulgence to honor Christ or even remind one of Him?

This paper is not a discussion of Christmas as to its origin nor as to whether the world had been better off without the observance. Christmas is on the calendar of Christendom and in some manner is universally observed. It will be observed again this year by both Catholics and Protestants – hardly one of our readers excepted.

This is a plea, therefore, that so far as His followers are concerned, Christ be given a place in all our activities of the season. Since He would be in all our days He should be in the day called Christmas. Just as He should be in all our giving so He should be in our Christmas giving. Let not the pride, selfishness, love of display or of praise or other vainglory of the flesh have any part or lot in what we do. To the extent that they have we leave Christ out. While many are giving to receive again, or for show or from false pride, it is a good time for those who are Christ’s to remember the poor and the blind and the halt and those sick or in prison; and in His name to minister unto them. So shall we represent Him, exemplify His teaching, be channels of blessings, increase gratitude and glory to Him and be the richer in joy ourselves.