Ever think about the layers of American Christianity and how they affect our worship services and ministry today?
Living in a majority Buddhist nation, I think about things like this often because I am constantly trying to dig into the foundations of why Buddhist practice here is the way that it is.
What I find is that there are layers here in Thailand as well.
From the myriad numbers of Hindu gods, to the philosophical nature of Buddhism, to the animistic practices that predate Buddhism and much more; it all forms the faith of the Thai people today.
So, it got me thinking…
about how this current generation of believers in America and modern Western nations often don’t really understand the multi layers of faith that create the Sunday church experience they have each week.
Some Thai churches have these layers too, but most of them who have progressed have been mainly stuck somewhere between the decades of the 60’s-90’s when they were first started. In fact, I heard a statistic that half of all Thai churches that were ever planted were planted in the last 20 years!
These churches have adapted the culture that the original messenger brought to them and made it their “biblical” culture without realizing that it was not sacred or unchangeable.
Something I get out of this is that the message has always been sacred, but the methods, style, and culture is always in flux. It is always responding both to the prodding of the Spirit and the reality of the culture and time where it has been planted.
Each movement has within it, world-views and perspectives that influence their practices. It is common for each movement before to speak against the one that comes after it.
Some modern churches are a combination of many of these movements.
Some are either true renewal movements or they are reactions to the failures of the previous generations to shift their cultures to reach people who were outside of the church.
So, take a deep breath…and check em out.
Here are a few modern movements in America that many have either built or camped upon:
- Beyond Evangelical
- Revival Culture
- Creative Church
- Purpose Driven
- Seeker Sensitive
- Unreached People
- Third Wave
- Jesus People
- Latter Rain
- Modern Missions
- Second Great Awakening
- Great Awakening
- Puritans & Anabaptists
- English Bible Translators
- Catholic Reformers