Editorial – April 2013

An inclusive Christian community in Auckland, New Zealand

Editorial – April 2013

Editorial

Alf’s sermon on Easter Sunday took me back to a period in my life, when as a young adult I found it difficult to relate to the traditional teachings of Christ’s spiritual nature and reported miracles.  The Presbyterian congregation of St Columba in Boksburg, South Africa had been without a minister for five months before the appointment of the Rev John Taylor (what a coincidence!), a native of the North Riding of Yorkshire.  Having come from a rigid doctrinal Dutch Reformed background I welcomed the opportunity to share my doubts with a clergyman, who in tolerating my views confirmed me in my belief in the human Jesus as my example and guide.  at the conclusion of much lively debate we concluded that it did not really matter whether the supernatural achievements attributed to our Redeemer were based on fact or fiction.  What stood out was His teaching and example on which our Christian faith is based.  In this lies the rub where our relationship with young adults is concerned.  We as church-going parents have to ask ourselves whether we have neglected or even avoided opportunities to discuss with our children the meaning of our faith as it relates to life in the 21st century.  This would make us aware that the younger generation, while disinclined to accept the immaculate conception and physical ascent to heaven as gospel truth, may regard Jesus Christ as a cool dude who stood up to the establishment in achieving meaningful societal change and was prepared to suffer the consequences for the betterment of humanity.  Enabling me to frankly discuss my doubts in my mid twenties reinforced me in my belief as a practising Christian in the meaning of God.  It calls for greater acceptance of non-traditional attitudes to worship if we want to engage with younger folk as our successors in different forms of expression of faith.  We all know and are inspired by individuals who serve as shining examples of the teachings of Christ without being recognisable as adherents of a Christian denomination.  Is this not what it is all about?

Ralph