Read a good article today, Detoxing from Church, by Jason Zahariades. Thanks Dennis for sending it to me!

Here are some quotes of note:

“In order to BE the Church, we need to leave the church.”

“What is the Church? It is a community of people who are each following Christ into his divine life and love here on earth. They are learning how to become by grace what Christ is by nature – the full and complete emptying of self in order to participate fully in God’s kingdom so as to be a redemptive force that recreates all aspects of life and creation (Philippians 2:5-16; Colossians 1:19; Romans 8:19-21). The Church is a group of Christ-followers who are sent as Jesus was sent (John 20:21). In this way, the Church is the continuation of Christ’s incarnation on earth.”

“A primary difference between being churched and being the Church is how I approach the community. Being churched assumes the organizational church is designed from the perspective that I am a consumer of religious goods and service. Therefore, I am expected to participate in the church’s programs chiefly to receive and consume. It’s the organization’s responsibility to program, coordinate and provide what I need for my spiritual satisfaction. But being the Church requires me to take full responsibility to follow Christ and Christ alone into his life. ”

“[Dallas] Willard states that God’s plan for spiritual formation through the local Christian community is threefold: First, create an ethos and culture that places apprenticeship to Christ in all the minute aspects of life as central. This creates the necessary vision to fuel the individual’s intention. Second, immerse apprentices at all levels of growth in the Trinitarian presence of God through the community’s structure and life. In this way, the community’s primary purpose is to encounter the Trinitarian presence and hold people up within it. Finally, arrange for the inner transformation of people in such a way that doing the words and deeds of Christ is not the focus but the natural outcome or side effect.” (from Dallas Willard, Renovation of the Heart: Putting On the Character of Christ, 240-251)

Good stuff. I’d like to spend more time reflecting on it presently, but I need to do laundry, dishes, buy a few groceries, and finish my schoolwork before 5:00 pm.

Coming soon… Richard Foster “Vow of Simplicity”.

Oh, and check out My PhotoSite for some pics of our Sunday trip to the Huntington Beach.

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