Feelers and their Feeler-driven churches want their Christianity to be ``a relationship, not a religion.'' This is their highest value, and it is important that their religion -- which describes a person's deepest reality -- reflect that value.
Thinkers have a different highest value, and their religion -- some would qualify that as ``if they are going to adopt a religion,'' but the fact is, even the atheists have a religion (it has no god and no formal organization, but still serves the function of religion in their lives) -- the Thinker religion should also reflect their highest value, which is truth and justice. The Thinker God cannot lie nor be lied to. Does that sound familiar? It's in the Bible. The God of the Bible is just and holy, Thinker values. Look all you want, there is nothing like ``Christianity is a relationship'' in the Bible.
The Thinkers and the Feelers both want purpose in their religion. It's just different.
Mega-church pastor Rick Warren wrote a book The Purpose Driven Life to explain his views on purpose. Like virtually all American pastors, Rick Warren is a Feeler, and his book reflects that perspective. Warren is also a conservative, Bible-believing Christian, and the Thinker values in the Bible are unavoidable. Some of them seep into his book, despite what appears to be his best efforts to the contrary.
Hundreds of years before Rick Warren, the divines of the Reformation tried to answer the same question. ``The chief end of man,'' they said, ``is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.'' They get it. Enjoying God is a Feeler thing; glorifying God is a broad way of saying we should be conforming to God's sovereign Will for us, that is, we must be aligned to God's Truth. That's a Thinker thing.
Thinkers want to be doing something with long-term significance. Thinkers
are goal-oriented; Feelers are more process-oriented. Science and technology
are goal-oriented tasks; teaching and nurturing are process-oriented. The
American churches are about process and relationships. The Bible does not
deny the importance of relationships, but the Christian message has a goal.
History has a beginning and an end. There is a specific goal, ``going into
all the world and make disciples.'' It's in the Bible, and good Christians
might be able to quote it, but we have not done it. We have stayed home
and enjoyed each other's company for an hour or two each Sunday morning.
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Rev. 2008 May 3