Christian Community

https://shipoffools.com/mystery-worshipper/church-of-the-christian-community-stroud-england/

I notice this mystery worshipper report. The Christian Community are followers of Rudolf Steiner and although they call themselves Christian, if they follow Steiner's teaching they believe in reincarnation but as far as I could tell not in the Trinity. When as a young man I spent helping in one of their communities for the learning disabled I seem to remember hearing that Christ and St Michael are both aspects of the great sun spirit.

I'm sure they include many good people and they appreciate many aspects of Christian tradition, but I'm not sure they qualify for inclusion here.

They may have changed since I knew them but at the time they made me see the inadequacy of gnosticism.

Comments

  • I'm not convinced that trying to police who is and isn't Christian is either worthwhile or likely to achieve broad agreement.
  • ZappaZappa Ecclesiantics Host
    edited August 16
    I'm not sure that's altogether a case of "policing," but of pure categorization. Last time I checked a horse was not a cow, though no value judgement is implied.
  • Zappa wrote: »
    I'm not sure that's altogether a case of "policing," but o pure categorization. Last time I checked a horse was not a cow, though no value judgement is implied.

    In the case of cows and horses the categorisation is imposed by us from the outside, on beings unable to involve themselves in the discussion. Even ignoring that, a better comparison would be birds and dinosaurs - we have definitions of both but trying to make a schema to reliably draw the line is surprisingly difficult.

    In the case of Christianity there is a large borderland of disagreement. Quakers, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Oneness Pentecostals, Rastafarians and doubtless others have at one time or another claimed to be Christian, and to my knowledge none of them are trinitarian. Now, it seems that in the US, largely for political reasons, Mormons are considered Christian by conservative evangelicals. Trying to come up with any sort of objective measure leaves me thinking that Mormons are about as close to orthodox Christianity as Muslims. So, who gets to draw the line, how and where?
  • And - largely for historical reasons - the Quakers are members of Churches Together in England while the Unitarians aren't. (I can't speak for the other home nations).
  • Speaking in my a capacity as a shipmate, the traditional 'trinitarian' principle for MW reports as I understand it is that the Mystery Worshipper feature is intended to be a review from "inside" Christianity of Christianity, rather than as a critique of exotica from an outsider's point of view. In other words, it's a principle born out of respect (limiting our critiques to those in the family) rather than out of a desire to act as the orthodoxy police.

    In the MW report cited in the OP, the answer to the question "did the service make you feel glad to be a Christian?" was "the question didn't arise", which leaves little doubt as to the MWer's perspective as to which side of the border this particular church was on.
  • john holdingjohn holding Ecclesiantics Host, Mystery Worshipper Host
    Also as a shipmate of longish standing, the "trinitarian" guideline has been ignored a number of times over the years, usually to allow a report on a UU service. No doubt there have been other occasions. Some would argue reports on meetings of Friends are close to the line (not me).
  • I attended a Christian Community wedding once (for a friend who works at an anthroposophical school) and while the priest dressed in what looked like vaguely German Protestant garb, and the building could pass for a mainline Protestant church, the service seemed like some new-agey gobbledygook. Christ was not mentioned once. Normally I think the label “gnostic” gets thrown around too freely but I think the CC actually describe themselves that way.
  • venbedevenbede Shipmate
    I was mainly giving further information to understand the report.
  • I attended a Christian Community wedding once (for a friend who works at an anthroposophical school) and while the priest dressed in what looked like vaguely German Protestant garb, and the building could pass for a mainline Protestant church, the service seemed like some new-agey gobbledygook. Christ was not mentioned once. Normally I think the label “gnostic” gets thrown around too freely but I think the CC actually describe themselves that way.

    I attended a "Foursquare Gospel" church once, a communion service even, during which not one verse of scripture was read or recited. Not even words of institution of the communion. Not even a portion of a verse like "do this in remembrance of me." Nothing. Zilch. And these people claim to be true biblical Christians. I was aghast.
  • So would I have been! What words did they use?
    :flushed:

    Not even The Lord's Prayer?
  • venbedevenbede Shipmate
    The Christian Community is certainly not Four Square Gospel.
  • venbedevenbede Shipmate
    I see there is now a board for Mystery Worshipper comments and I should have posted there. Sorry about that. Perhaps this can be moved.
  • So would I have been! What words did they use?
    :flushed:

    Not even The Lord's Prayer?

    Nope not even that.
  • At the risk of incurring a 5cent fine...

    Is Outrage!

    As I think Miss Amanda has said on more than one occasion, there is a little more latitude these days, in that MW Reports of less-than-orthodox churches or groups are published from time to time.

    I've no problem with this, as 'marginal religiosity' is a fascinating subject, so long as the stance/beliefs of the church MWed are made clear. One would think that a 'Foursquare Gospel' service would be pretty Bible-based, and 'orthodox', but apparently not always so. What's in a name, eh?
  • At the risk of incurring a 5cent fine...

    Is Outrage!

    Not fine. Fee. Think ASCAP or BMI.
  • Interestingly enough, the "four squares" of the Gospel aren't Scripture but Jesus as Saviour, Baptizer With the Holy Spirit, Healer and Soon-Coming King. Which isn't to say that they don't have an Evangelical/Fundamentalist view of the Bible.
  • One would think that a 'Foursquare Gospel' service would be pretty Bible-based, and 'orthodox', but apparently not always so. What's in a name, eh?

    Perhaps one of the people "speaking in tongues" was quoting the Scriptures? There were no "interpreters" so I couldn't say.
  • venbedevenbede Shipmate
    I now notice this report has been discussed in the separate Mystery Worshiper board which I didn't know existed. Again apologies.
  • ZappaZappa Ecclesiantics Host
    Several millennia are now added to you sojourn in purgatory. Apart from that mild repercussion all is forgiven.

    Though really this little host wasn't too worried. Perhaps he should have been though. So I'll join you in purgatory.
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