August 8, 2006

We speak with smiles about "reforming" the Church for today or seeing a "revolution" happen in the church. Are you really ready for that? Have you read history? Do you recall how bloody and deadly reformations and revolutions can be? Do you have the spine to really bring that on? Do you think the church can survive that kind of thing? ... I don't know.

I recently was interviewed for a thesis paper someone was writing for a theological degree. They asked me if I had given up on the Church. I said, "No." He then asked me if I thought the Church can survive... I took a long breath and said, "No."

I recently listened to a speaker talk about dying to false hopes. "If we get over our hopes in things that just aren't going to happen," he said, "we can move more fully into participating in those things that will." We become alive to the new opportunities.

"What!? God wouldn't do that!" No, our Creator probably wouldn't. But we would. And as he let Israeal implode on itself, he will let the church do the same.

That said, I'm convinced the Kingdom will live and it will come more fully.

Note to self: The church is going to die. Get over it. Get on with participating in the kingdom coming.

12 comments :

Ryan Lee Sharp said...

My sentiments/hopes/fears/anticipations exactly.

Thomas Ham said...

If that's the case, what's the purpose for Ecclesia, Matthews House, etc?

Jason said...

Thomas,
Did I say that people would cease to follow Jesus? Did I say the Kingdom would die? No.

doorkeeper said...

yeah man, all the idealistic and socialistic young emergents are right. while they're embracing culture, having a brew or four, saving the planet, travelling as vagabonds, saying fuck on their blogs, buying the best records, and asserting other entitlements in the name of jesus, the church is dying and the kingdom is coming?

Jason said...

not sure what your point is doorkeeper

Thomas Ham said...

I'm just curious where the Scripture or tradition has pointed towards this? I've NEVER heard such idea's in my life.

Jason said...

You might look at the cultural landscape to see many of the signs that seem quite clear.

Likewise, where in Scripture do we read Jesus saying that the Church was as necessary to spirituality as we believe it to be today? Paul's writing, as well as the early church fathers (pre-330 AD), functioned under a completely different root understanding/metaphor of "church" than we do today.

So, in Scripture and tradition are either silent or implying something totally different than what we assume today.

Where did Scripture and tradition speak to sex changes, democratic governments or stem cell research? To these things, it is silent as well. Part of the reason why the church won't survive is because-as you show-that we want these things to be proof-text rather than a story that we function within.

Thomas Ham said...

The answer I expected. Thank you for reiterating the mentality of a "New Kind of Christian".

Jason said...

I think that was meant to be insulting, but I rather take it as a compliment to be lumped w/ Brian McLaren.

Thomas Ham said...

Not really insulting... Just observational. Forgive if it came off wrong... It was kind of a pun in the heat of frustration. Well, I hope everything is well and all.

Jason said...

I don't mean to be fustrating, Thomas. I'm not even trying to be caustic necessarily. Just honest with myself. I'm simply looking at the state of things and suddenly am shocked (probably just as much as those reading my words) that this is what I'm beginning to really think. I was a bit suprised to hear myself respond as I did when I was being interviewed. But I think it is true. It doesn't mean that the "people of God" as community(s) will cease to exist. Global trends prove otherwise... but the Church as we understand it in Western civilization will not last, I don't think. The truth is that this isn't all that "new" 'and it isn't an attempt to be theologically "hip" or "rebellious". "Movements" throughout history have embodied this, resisting the Christendom system. All I'm saying is that I don't think the Christendom system can sustain itself much longer.

Thomas Ham said...

I wouldn't necessarily equate my frustration solely to your comment. Heck, I partly agree with it. Christendom as a whole is getting very messy. That's all I've got to say on that right now.

I suppose my main frustration is with many of my "Post Modern/Emergent" friends is that they have moved onto a very Gnostic view of Spirtuality, seperating their actions with that of their soul. Of course, this isn't your topic, but it just helped add to my frustration...

I must just say, I'm scared for a lot of my friends.

Post a Comment