Western modern Christianity spirituality has had a focus on personal religious decisions, with a main concern for the eternal destiny of others, where to become a Christian is to be saved out of the world, where the goal of salvation is rescue from a fallen world that will be destroyed. Heaven is the Christianâ€™s destination, and there is an emphasize on separation from the world and its vices.
Spiritual formation in this context becomes understood as a search for piety and holiness, of being more like Christ, the divine being. I wonder if postmodern culture views this construction as shallow, self-seeking, and dehumanizing. To become a christian is in essence to escape humanity and this world.
For many in the postmodern context, â€œcommunity is integral to epistemology". By that I mean that people form beliefs, and understand reality through community experiences, where truth is personal, and not just hard fact seperate from people and experience.
Yet our churches have often approached the reality of the christian faith as an individualistic cognitive process. Information rather than formation. I also wonder how many of our new forms of church are producing a gospel message of hyper-individualism, and indivudation, in which community is not integral to epistemology, but rather individual and personal experience, set against invidivual cognition.
Maybe the result is that Christianity, is viewed as dehumanizing by those hungry for community connections with God and each other. The continued reductionist message of the church in it's modern and emerging forms remains unappealing.
What would it look like to express the Gospel as a message about connection to this world, to God's creation, and the mission of God, and that to become like christ was to live, and be human in the way we were intended to be, and in the way made possible by being in christ, through his death and resurrection?