We were discussing today our frustrations regarding position(s) in the Big Church thing. We constantly, let me say again constantly come up against old ways that seemingly accomplish one of the following two things at a time:
- make traditional Christians comfortable, or
- make non-traditional nu-Christians uncomfortable
So we have a big problem: change is uncomfortable, and hard to effect. It seems that either way, someone is going to be uncomfortable. Or are they? Let’s say, for posterity’s sake, that when we say ‘comfort’ we mean Spiritual Peace. So in this sense, we should seek comfort, if we in fact mean that we want God’s peace. If we break it down in this way, we find that both aforementioned parties can be both comfortable at the same time if both attain comfort / God’s peace. I would say that God’s Peace exists outside our preferences, and also transcends our circumstances, from which we then conclude that the Problem of Change is not necessarily found in old ways but rather in comfort or God’s Peace.
Unfortunately, the comfort we seek is not the same as God’s Peace, it is in fact our own personal comfort. Herein lies the problem– in the way we ‘do’ church, our priority can easily be found resting (decade after decade) in its old ways, basking comfortably in the traditions of its past.
I am not saying all these traditions are wrong in themselves, but that the level of comfort they enjoy puts them in a position where they are no longer moveable by The Spirit because they are too comfortable. It is a dangerous place being comfortable, as we know, because it’s too hard to hear the still, small voice of The Spirit when we’re asleep in our comfort. This also brings up the point that there is a fine-line between reprovement and encouragement, especially when one’s interested and comforts are at stake. Is the difference in fact motive? How unfortunate.
As followers of The Way, just as Moses was, just as MC Hammer is, and in any context, we are responsible for the visions God has put on our hearts. We are also responsible for receiving the inheritance of our fathers in the form of what foundation they have constructed to continue to improve and build upon its structure. I find this a difficult metaphor because some of the foundations which have been built I find to not be so stable… and this is why generational-building is so hard – to continue building upon an unstable foundation is foolishness, so the only (seemingly) wise option is to deconstruct what has been built in that area of the structure, then begin building again in a sound way. How depressing, but true. And just as in Big Church – the bigger the structure, the more deconstruction must be done to improve the foundations in order for progressive building to commence.
But is there another way? I do not present this as an answer, but more as a question. Many times along the timeline of Christianity, it seems that some felt it better to not spend their time deconstructing but rather to build a whole new building. The question then becomes, “Has the Christian Church become a Harem for Christ or simply a fragmented Bride?”. Is it wrong to have a vision for NOW and choose to build a new structure instead of imposing your ‘new’ beliefs / ideas / visions on an old structure?