Disclaimer: About This Blog

THIS BLOG IS: my personal journey of how I am rethinking some of my spiritual beliefs.
THIS BLOG IS NOT: intended to point fingers at people who I think are wrong.
I do not believe the final judgement will be based on how many correct answers we get on a theology exam. I believe many people throughout history have had genuine relationships with our Lord and Saviour Jesus, despite holding questionable beliefs and practices. I make no claim to having it all figured out or being your judge. If we end up disagreeing over these topics I pray we can find a way to demonstrate grace.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Graduation and Catechism Thoughts

Institutional forms of education hold a ceremony when students have completed their studies. The institution gives a certificate and sends the students on into the world hoping they have given them the knowledge and skills needed to function and contribute wherever life leads.  Or at least enough for them to take the next few steps.

Some students go on from one institution to another, making a career out of learning more and more information.

Other students find employment in the institutions and help teach the following generations.

But as a society we don't want everyone to stay in school forever.

I'm wondering if some of this can apply to church institutions.

Some Christians from some traditions emphasize classes where systems of information are taught and learned.  That may be what institutions do best.  Some traditions call these classes catechism classes.

Some Christians prioritize attending these catechism classes, and then decrease their attendance after they have completed these classes.  Then years later they prioritize attendance for their children in these classes.

Other traditions encourage staying in school forever.

Hebrews 10:23-25 (NIV) does speak of not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing. However there are a few clues that the writer of Hebrews wasn't talking about sitting in a pew listening to sermons every week forever:
  • pews were not invented yet
  • institutional church was not invented yet
  • This verse is sandwiched between two "one another" commands. Meeting together can become more about the "one anothers" when we meet together in regular life.

Educational institutions hope that everyone become life-long learners, but that doesn't mean we want them to attend an academic institution forever.

"In school, you're taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you're given a test that teaches you a lesson." Tom Bodett

Can we make a connection between how we approach educational institutions and Christian education? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

2 comments:

Christina said...

I suppose it depends how you view the "institutional churches" sunday morning gathering (or other "educational" times). If a person views it as simply a time to sit and listen to someone teach (aka preach) then I guess this wouldn't be very healthy... If a person views the sunday service as a time of connecting, sharing, praying, listening, teaching/preaching, reaching out etc. etc. then more of a balance can be found and should work for a lifetime. Regardless of whether or not we attend an "institutional" gathering we still need to continue growing and learning....

Jonathan said...

Thanks. :) I think if institutional church gatherings were more about the one anothers, like the things you listed (connecting, sharing, praying, listening, teaching, reaching out), they could look more like regular life gatherings. Yes, there are many ways to be lifelong learners.