Church or church?

October 28, 2015

Church or church?

Somewhere along the way while trying to follow Jesus I came to the realization that what church was doing, and what I was doing as part of the church didn’t look much like what I saw Jesus doing?!

Though I claimed Jesus Christ as my Lord and Master, things just didn’t jibe with His Way?  I had to accept that I needed to embrace a paradigm shift (a holy shift) of monumental, life-changing proportion.

It has not been an easy change to say the least.  Fortunately, the trail has been blazed by others before me.  They have become my new “community in Christ”, and I see them as the true Church, the Body of Christ, organically manifested in the world at large.

I have tried with love and Grace to remain in fellowship with Brethren who call the institutional, traditional church their home.  However, I am seen as a rebel, a threat to the status quo, one who “stirs the pot” so to speak.  Some relationships remain strong in the Lord, but others are strained by my passion and willingness to speak up when I sense a wandering from Jesus’s “Narrow Way”.

I know this is frightening stuff for some, but I’ve also seen many step out in faith.  The Verge Network and its many collaborators (individuals and groups) are a constant source of encouragement, as well as accountability.  They are not afraid to “question authority” (I’m a “child of the 60’s”), and yet submit themselves to God and one another.

When we feel alone and rejected by the status quo church, this community sustains us in Christ Jesus.  The Psalms become our prayer book, as like David, we feel the persecution and oppression of religious authority pressing down on us.  Then too, we recall Paul’s “prayer” to the Philippians (4:4-13), and always the Lord’s own encouragement recorded in John’s gospel.

I sense the church religious is beginning to change, and many within are embracing God’s recreation in spite of opposition.  Many pastors and leaders are risking loss of employment and family financial stability to follow Jesus out into the world of “missional communities”.  The church is slowly beginning to look like the Church, the Body Christ Jesus had in mind and heart at the beginning.  It may take years of small steps, but as Caesar Kalinowski says, “small is big, slow is fast”.

I’m in for the long haul, “a long obedience in the same direction” toward my true Home in God by the Grace of Christ Jesus.  Surrendered and submitted to His “unforced rhythms of Grace”; daily life as a disciple of Jesus Christ, an apprentice in training and training others as He makes more disciples and “builds His Church”, one person at a time.  You see, we are not “just another brick in the wall”.

}:- 💔💜

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