A Couple Links for Your Friday Afternoon

04Feb05

It’s SOOOOO Friday.


Baby Got Book (Oh, my gosh look at her BIBLE)


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Emergent ’05 – Notes and video snippets from Paradoxology


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– the clips from Alan Roxburgh and Doug Pagitt got me thinking……

I agree – We do NOT need to “just get back to the way the early church did it”. This is unhelpful. Unrealistic. And ultimately, (I think) unproductive. The early church was as culturally conditioned and influenced as we are today. They did not become a fellowship created in a vacuum…. they took on (adopted) structures of the day – synagogue, temple, political gathering. They met in houses by necessity, not conveinence.

But none of that seems to help us figure out how to do Church today. I think the reason is implicit in the asking. If we are merely (though, I admit, it is still no small task) seek to know how to DO church more effectively or (God help us) efficiently then we’ve shot ourselves in the foot at the beginning of our hunt. We won’t make much progress and it will be painful.

This is probably tired… but our DOing comes out of our BEing. We (excuse the grammar) BE Church together. The look of that will flux and change in different contexts and situations. That is not to say that what we DO is unimportant…. rather it is supremely important because our DOing is a reflection of our BEing…….. If we’re a bunch of UN-Transformed, Self-centered, Ego-maniacal Pricks…. well…. our Church will look that way too.

Yeah, I suppose this is basic stuff… Re-Thinking Church 101, but I think we still miss it. We get stuck only on the externals… what it looks like, do you have a choir (oh, you must be institutional), does your Lead (I-don’t-want-to-be-called) Pastor have a goatee (you’re SO Emergent).

But again, I don’t want you to hear me saying…. whatever you do is fine for you cuz its all about loving Jesus and each other…. HOW you do church is OK…. I’m OK, you’re OK.

Listen.

The church in the USA…. atleast many of the ones I’ve seen and been too and been a part of…. is NOT OK. (Oh, you’re so self-righteous) (Yes, probably)

I say this cuz I LOVE THE CHURCH — Christ’s Body in the World. I think she rocks!

And it grieves me when I see her hurting. Broken. Bleeding. If I see a problem, shouldn’t I mention it and offer some measure of help/healing? That’s really all I try to do. I know I screw up and overstep my reach. I start pontificating and being self-righteous. I assume.

But hopefully I help (sometimes).

I want to see, be part of, help lead a vibrant, healthy community of Faith, God’s People in a locale, a fellowship of believers (of allegiance-makers) who are actively and thoroughly being transformed by Christ into Christ’s Likeness. A Transformation Community. Vineyard Central is our chosen people. God is, I honestly believe, doing that in and through us here. We are not the shape of the Church to come. We are the church now, in this place, for this people. God is making us (slowly and painfully at times) into Christ’s Image. A Holy People – set apart for God’s tranformative mission in the world. We get it wrong a good percentage of the time. We piss people off. We mess up. But we try. And God hasn’t (I hope) given up on us yet (he’s good that way).

We (VC) and i (aaron klinefelter) do not claim to be right – as if we found the “correct” way to do church. As if we were trying to make converts to the House Churching Way. Sometimes I think people have issues with people who are part of House Churches. As if we’re either ecclesial dropouts or theological cast-offs. I hope we’re neither.

I do not Hate the Institutional Church. I do not Hate the Emerging Church. I do not Hate the Seeker-driven Church. I do not. I actively choose not to do so. I love the Church. I want to see her healthy, vibrant, strong – – – – I want to see her healthy tho she is sick, vibrant tho she is monocolor, strong tho she is weak. And in our sickness, monocolor-ness, and weakness we are transformed. I do not want her to be Powerful. I do not want her to be Influential. I do not want her to be Popular. I want her to be Holy, Christ-centered, Life-giving.

And when I see her not being that way…. I will speak out. So if you read this blog and think I am bitter. Let me assure you. I am not. I bear no resentment to the Church. But if your leadership discourages (through implicit theology or philosophy or explicit crap) the empowerment of God’s People – I will speak out. If your building fund or budget reeks of materialism – I will speak out. If your slick, professional, “excellence-matters” worship service/performance/show carries the stench of consumeristic greed and individualistic ego-centeredness – I will speak out. If your 40 Days of Purpose, Willow Creek, Cokesbury, David C. Cook, Navigators, or AWANA curriculum is generating followers of anything (politics, morality, Bible-ism, self) beside Christ – I will speak out.

OK, Diatribe Done.

Hope that wasn’t too “ranty”… I didn’t intend for it to be… just kinda happened. I’ve typed way too much.

Peace.

PS – I’m testing Yahoo’s Contextually Relevant search feature… not sure if works, but it could be cool.

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