Showing posts with label Body of Christ. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Body of Christ. Show all posts

Thursday, September 09, 2021

Dismembering the Church

My church recently had a “membership” drive. The goal was to get people to sign up to the church roll, then stand up in front of the congregation and proclaim their membership through what they called a “church covenant”.

I’ve been in my local church for 12 years. I didn’t sign. I won’t.

It’s not because my fellow Christians do not know I’m one of them; they do. And I trust it’s not because I’m passive, uncommitted or uninvolved with church life. I’m in there serving, and I doubt there’s anyone in my congregation who couldn’t tell you that. (If there is, that will be corrected the next time they give me the pulpit, which they do fairly frequently.) And it’s not because they have found I am caught up in some particular sin or wickedness. No one has accused me of that — though I’d admit to being your garden variety hypocrite, in the sense that I continually fall short of the level of holiness God deserves from me. But no one so far has called me “hard hearted” or accused me of some crime.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Bring on the Philistines

“Then all the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and said, ‘Behold, we are your bone and flesh. In times past, when Saul was king over us, it was you who led out and brought in Israel. And the Lord said to you, “You shall be shepherd of my people Israel, and you shall be prince over Israel.” ’ ”

A little Bible history may remind us what a mealy-mouthed, disingenuous endorsement this really is. At this point, David has been ruling as king over Judah in Hebron for a full 7-1/2 years, while the tribes of Israel now buttering him up have been engaged in bitter civil war against him, with Ish-bosheth son of Saul as their chosen king and the tribe of Benjamin as the power behind the throne.

Unfortunately both Ish-bosheth and his powerful and popular general Abner are now dead. They won’t be governing anyone or delivering them from their enemies.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Call and Response

Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline is not the most intuitive choice for a hockey arena anthem. It goes over so well for one reason: audience participation.

NEIL: “Sweet Caroline ...”

18,000 FANS: Bah bah bah

NEIL: “Good times never seem so good.”

18,000 FANS: So good, so good, so good!

You get the idea. It’s call and response, and people love to join in. The “response” part was not built into Diamond’s original lyric; it seems to have evolved over the years as fans got increasingly comfortable with the nightly routine of familiar tunes and started improvising on them.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Dismembering the Church

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

“In the Church” and In the Body

The church meeting is not the church.

Let me say that again: the church meeting is not the church.

You would think that Christians who have already succeeded in grasping the biblical distinction between “church” and “church building” would grasp this further distinction intuitively, and it may be that on some level we get it. But if we measure knowledge of any truth by the number of Christians who are living it out daily in a practical way, my suspicion is that some of us have missed the boat.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Walking in Lockstep

Some people feel the inability of Christians to agree is a fatal flaw in our faith. The fact that believers understand the word of God differently and apply it differently is, to them, evidence that there is something wrong with the scripture itself, or that Christians are deluded about it, or that perhaps God does not really exist at all.

On the contrary, I believe it is evidence of precisely the opposite. It is exactly what we ought to expect.

To Kendall Hobbs, the inability of Christians to agree about either the will of God or the content of scripture and how it ought to be applied constitutes a valid reason to abandon Christianity. So he did.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Dismembering the Church

The most recent version of this post is available here.