- Pathfinder

Reply To: Are there elements of ancient and/or modern Near Eastern Christianity that are present in your own church/faith life? If so, what are they? If not, would you be open to implementing any?

Mason Strain

Being a practicing member of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, our church and faith life is a largely Western Christianity experience. However, I do think LCMS shares an element of modern Near Eastern Christianity in its commitment to its theology. While many mainline protestant churches have become more theologically liberal, and in my opinion succumbing to secular ideologies, LCMS continues to remain steadfast in its theological tradition and pushing back against secular impulses. This is something that it seems to share with Near Eastern Christianity, who reject many secular, materialist elements of Western culture. In my own faith, I have found myself to have a greater appreciation of the Holy Land and the religious sites contained within the Near East than many other Western Christians do, especially Protestants. My connection with the Near East on grounds of faith is what brought me to the Philos Project and what inspired me to go to Israel. With the Near East being the past and current roots of Near Eastern Christianity, they share a special appreciation and understanding of the region as well. I am open to implementing some of the imagery that Near Eastern Christianity uses. Being a Lutheran, icons and relics are strongly discouraged against, but I believe this has caused our traditions to lose some of the beauty that comes with having a unique, astonishing place to worship in, and a lessened appreciation of Christian art. I would like to see Protestant churches in the West embrace this side of Christianity a bit more.