Saturday, November 24, 2012

Dissenting Pagan Christianity: Searching for Biblical Christianity

I started my reading of the book Pagan Christianity by Frank Viola and George Barna this week. I have just read the preliminary pages, but so far the writers have written what I believe. One of the author speaks about the concept of the 'institutional church' that has become like the Pharisees of Jesus' time, adding to the scriptures traditions of men. Viola also speaks about the other movement within Christianity, that operates like the Sadducees, subtracting from the Scripture and removing Biblical practices from the church. I appreciate his words, as ever since I arrived at university with the pivotal experience of finding Christians accusing other Christians of being a cult, the Lord has lead me into a spiritual journey of discovering for myself authentic Christianity. While for a time, the Seventh-day Adventist church and Ellen G. White's The Great Controversy (the first half of the book) played a role in supplying the answers, today I see the church as carrying out the same errors of creating its own traditions, perpetuating other Protestant (and even Catholic traditions) and abandoning the principles and even beliefs of its founders.

I therefore appreciate the growing number of Christians who feel to identify themselves as 'unchurched" or "uncommitted". Like this growing body of Christians, I too feel uncommitted to any religious institution, as all the Christian religious institutions that I know possess traditions that are not quite Biblical and unquestioned. In other words, their theology seems closed, or perhaps to the other extreme of being so open that they change their beliefs and practices to meet contemporary times and postmodernist thought. Hence, my identity is not defined then by an institution's system of beliefs, but rather more eclectic, as I shop for beliefs among Christian and Jewish thinkers that best explain truths that I see in the Bible.

However, in the mean time, for my children's sake, I have to pause my spiritual shopping around, so that they can get a stable spiritual environment to support their own social and spiritual development. As I do this, I try to guard myself from becoming to active in the denomination that only possess portions of my own spiritual beliefs. After all, like Abraham, I am a wandered, a pilgrim, awaiting the holy land and the promises that the great teacher (Messiah Jesus) will come to earth, put an end to all false doctrine and teach the whole world righteousness. However, before that day comes, I need to study the word of God for myself and be like the Bereans, questioning the dogma and teachings of preachers, speakers and denominational leaders (Acts 17:11). For if one thing is clear, it is that these are the days of deception and false prophets are everywhere.


Viola, F. & Barna, G. (2008). Pagan Christianity? Exploring the roots of our church practices. [Carol Stream, Ill.?]Barna/Tyndale House Pub.

White, E. G. (1911). The great controversy between Christ and Satan: The conflict of the ages in the Christian dispensation. Washington, D.C.: Review & Herald Publishing Association.

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