The chairman of the liberal Christian group Sojourners says he believes that "Jesus coming was not primarily about getting people into heaven."I wish more Christians would say things like this. I think this is relevant in light the experience I just wrote about visiting a church today, where during the service the small children were told that without Jesus they couldn't go to heaven. While I think there is something to be said for the notion that complicated ideas are sometimes explained to children in a different way than how adults conceive of them, it is also unfortunately the case that many adult Christians believe that faith is largely about having a "right belief" and about that belief then being one's ticket to heaven. To me, on the other hand, faith is about one's relationship with God in the here and now--how we can build a better life for ourselves and others, and as a consequence create a better world, by listening to and carrying out God's will on earth. I say, let heaven take care of itself. If there is an afterlife, I would rather let God sort out the details.
The Rev. Brian McLaren says he believes that Jesus came "to proclaim the Kingdom of God, which is God's will being done on Earth."
McLaren says that's why congregations in the "emergent church" movement focus more on social action than trying to convert people to Christianity.
McLaren says that if people are "happy being Muslim, or Buddhist or Jewish or atheist," he doesn't think it's right to try to "shoe-horn them out of their religion" into Christianity.
Posted by Mystical Seeker at 3:15 PM