Thursday, August 28, 2008

Jiffy Pop Church

“Just as surely as God desires to lead us to a knowledge of genuine Christian fellowship, so surely must we be overwhelmed by a great disillusionment with others, with Christians in general, and, if we are fortunate, with ourselves.”
D. Bonhoeffer, Life Together

This is a true statement. I am in the midst of being disillusioned with people and myself. And at the same time, the Christian culture pumps and promotes easy-bake discipleship (If you know me, this is my new phrase and possible title for my book that I have yet to write, but the title sounds good).

I am bombarded by brochures for books and conference that have the same speakers saying the same things over and over again. They spend so much time speaking at conferences when do they actually do ministry? They may have had a “win” in ministry and now they’re selling their model or recipe for ministry. Some of us buy it and then try it out only to find it doesn’t work in our community. Did we miss a step? Did we forget an ingredient? Could it be me?

I’m also bombarded with testimonies of when a church just added small groups the church exploded and there was a big love-fest. It doesn’t always happen that way. Sometimes it flops.

I would love a session at a conference where the speaker spoke about “When Community Sucks, and What you thought was right isn’t”. Don’t get me wrong. I am all about community and the church. I love the church and what it is suppose to be. What I am disillusioned by is what it currently is. Yes, I have read Rob Bell, and he too easily discards the local church, and too easily promotes the Mars Hill effect. I love what Rob is doing for his faith community, but its not to be replicated or licensed as a franchise as an excuse for people to leave their current faith community. If one is called to move on it must be done prayerfully and with great discernment and pain, not with the ease of flipping a switch or changing an outfit.

So as painful as disillusionment is, it’s good. It helps to clarify the reality of a situation. It shoves you into the light of truth. It paves the way for repentance. “Not my will, but let Yours be done.”

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Journey Continues

Well . .the summer of study has not gone exactly as planned, and neither have the lessons I was planning to learn. God has something else in mind. Car repairs, self-examination, repentance, reconciliation, forgiveness, more self-examination, travel, disappointment, frustration, still more self-examination, and it goes on and on. All in all, God has not changed, I have, but not God.

To quote Jules in Pulp Fiction,

The truth is, YOU'RE the weak, and I'm the tyranny of evil men. But I'm trying, Ringo. I'm trying real hard to be the shepherd.

While the movie itself is not one that I would naturally gravitate towards, this final scene is classic, and it exemplifies how I feel my last year has been, and how in spite of my actions and past sins I am trying, with the help of the Holy Ghost, to move forward.

Stay tuned!