"BEND" BUT DON'T BREAK TRADITION
Those who have gone before us have taught what they have taught in their traditions in order to point in some direction for us. Because of the limitations of language, I don't mind giving them a little help. I don't want to disrespect others by saying that they did not mean what they said, but I can legitimately ask what truths were they trying to get across or what pitfalls were they trying to avoid when they said what they said. Once I guess what I think was their concern, then I "bend" my own understanding to include and validate their efforts to point in the right direction from where they were at the time. I think that is what Jesus was doing when he said, "I came not to abolish but to fulfill." I think that is what we can and should do for just about any seeker of truth.
I, personally, find it helpful to "bend" everything towards a handful of truths I have drawn from Campus Crusade for Christ (Cru), founded in 1951 by Bill Bright. He carefully distilled all biblical and Christian tradition and came up with a list of just "four spiritual laws" that can include everything Christians believe. The "laws" as I would modify them would be:
1. God's truth is that all are loved with absolutely no separation (evil/death), and that all persons are to be coheirs to eternal life with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit persons.
2. All humans are hopelessly trapped in their mistaken belief in separation (sin).
3. Jesus (God "touching" us in human flesh) is the only way to get humans to agree with God (agreeing with God is called "salvation").
4. God's truth, even when demonstrated in the flesh, requires a surrender (an act of faith).
I have found in my experience that all traditions of truth (Christian or not) can be more or less easily "bent" to be included in the "four spiritual laws".
© 2014 Rev. John Vogler