Back in July of last year, I wrote about some tendencies in the traditional approaches to church that those choosing those approaches must consider. This blog entry will make more sense if you read that before continuing. You can read that entry in a different window by clicking here.
But my question (and citing the quote from Einstein) comes this week because I see so little change in the behavior of those who are part of the western church. Oh, they move a few chairs around, make things more slick and contemporary, try to force "community" on people, etc., but the basic behaviors (and the assumptions that drive them) continue unabated, with the sad results that our culture remains unchanged in its descent into the abyss. Goodness, folks, if spending so much time on sermons that people forget doesn't work, why does everyone keep doing them? If people remain in their performance-based understanding the Jesus life, why do we continue to focus on behavior rather than heart?
But I am not discouraged nor do I wish to sound negative. Jesus is bringing life to His Church, and evidences of that abound. All across our nation, followers of Jesus are connecting with one another, discovering grace-based life in Jesus as family, usually but not always outside the boundaries of what is generally called "church." Some day I will write more about this, but today I want to pose questions and hope that they will trigger a change of heart in those who have influence in "the church."
And even in more traditional settings, life is beginning to show up. The following video was recently shown at the Foursquare Church's yearly convention. Click here to see it in a separate window. You will see that it addresses some of the same things in my blog from last July. And I am personally aware of a true awakening to genuine intimacy with God and the supernatural among many who are part of very traditional churches--Aslan is indeed on the move.
But we still need to ask the hard questions, I think. It isn't that hard to take a peek and ask oneself, "Is this ________ producing followers of Jesus who are relationally healthy, explosively joyful, inwardly peaceful, truly kind, etc.?" If not, can we please do something different? :-)
Just thinking out loud here and giving you a glimpse into the scary mind of Tom Wymore!
Wondering but not worried!
Tom, one of Abba's little boys