Reeeeeeefreshing…

Several other blogs that I admire have mentioned this amazing post at Real Live Preacher (another blog I admire).

It only takes a couple of minutes to read, but its effects have been with me for days now. “If We Could Do Church”.

a snippet…

โ€œWhat if these people decided to cast off any preconceived, cultural ideas about what church ought to be and instead tried to whittle Christianity down to its essentials? Instead of allowing church to become ever more complex, what if they sought to make church ever more simple, simple enough to be written on a thumbnail or even on a heart?โ€

5 thoughts on “Reeeeeeefreshing…”

  1. That is an interesting site. I will have to look into it more but what a simple way to worship our Lord. Dad & I have a bible study in the mornings… just the 2 of us. Sometimes the simply things are the best.

  2. That’s how crazy arse cults start… Somebody’s ambiguous thought provoking, intriguing bit of misinterpreted, magical scripture leads everyone to start wearing togas and flip-flops and the next thing you know, your hanging by your toes…be careful ๐Ÿ˜›

  3. *L* Yeah, hanging by one’s toes doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun to me, either!

    But still, this way of “doing church” that is described seems a lot more authentic than most of what’s going on right now. Like he describes, it would “feel like going home”.

    If it seems a little cultish, that’s probably because it’s as radical an idea in our day as Jesus himself was in his. Wendell Berry puts it in a thought-provoking way in an essay titled, “The Burden of the Gospels.” Here’s an excerpt…

    “If you had been living in Jesus’ time and had heard him teaching, would you have been one of his followers?

    “To be an honest taker of this test, I think you have to try to forget that you have read the Gospels and that Jesus has been a “big name” for 2,000 years. You have to imagine instead that you are walking past the local courthouse and you come upon a crowd listening to a man named Joe Green or Green Joe, depending on judgments whispered among the listeners on the fringe. You too stop to listen, and you soon realize that Joe Green is saying something utterly scandalous, utterly unexpectable from the premises of modern society. He is saying: ‘Don’t resist evil. If somebody slaps your right cheek, let him slap your left cheek too. Love your enemies. When people curse you, you must bless them. When people hate you, you must treat them kindly. When people mistrust you, you must pray for them. This is the way you must act if you want to be children of God.’ Well, you know how happily that would be received, not only in the White House and the Capitol, but among most of your neighbors. And then suppose this Joe Green looks at you over the heads of the crowd, calls you by name and says, ‘I want to come to dinner at your house.'”

  4. That makes really good sense, and I can only imagine how it must have been living in the days of Jesus. I probably would have stuck to my (possibly pagan) beliefs because that’s how I was raised, but I’m sure I also would have learned from him a great deal and have many thoughts wandering through my head about his teachings and miracles.

    But back to topic, one of the many things that makes the church a church that I didn’t read commented about on the site you posted is it’s sacredness. When I walk into a church, a good church, I will inevitably be struck by the Light of the Lord. I know it sounds foolhardy to be so awe inspired just because I walk into a place of worship, but so is the case. I think it is the subconcious notion that we are part of a larger order, or of a more concentric existence. When we break that apart, sure we might learn more and be more willing to do good and so forth, but I think it takes away from the whole organization and spirituality of it all, despite the fact I don’t normally support organized religion, I definetly think it has it’s place for sure. I don’t believe that church is for everyone either and considering the bastardization that has gone on in the last 20 or 30 years regarding churches, democracy and our educational system, still things remain much the same. It’s an evolutionary process that will eventually turn everyone into followers instead of leaders and free thinkers. And if you don’t believe me, just look really hard at the people we are following, in every sector, these people are for the most part deplorable. The world as I see it, is a paradoxical catch 22.

    I totally agree however that to be
    part of a church and also one of these kitchen table churches sounds like a really cool idea. As long as a reverence stays with in the group and people don’t go out and try to prophisize about a coming evil or the fact that we might be going to hell-in-a-handbasket sooner then expected, cause it’s bound to happen.

    Anyways, I don’t know where I was going with this and can’t see any reason not to really agree with you that these little self made, kitchen table churches don’t sound like a good idea. Because what is it really, but an expressing of ideas and brainstorming and feeling things for one another. But I also believe it’s not for everyone. And some people will, without a doubt, take it way too far (Waco keeps coming to my mind), but what will be, will be unless we change it, right?

    With love and respect,
    your B-Law.

  5. Well put across the board.

    There’s an interview with Brian McLaren that comes to mind. He is on the forefront of a movement that’s being called the Emergent Church. In this interview he emphasizes the necessity for both of the “types” of churches that we’re talking about.

    They’re both necessary because like you’re saying, people connect to God in different ways. Education has been addressing this for a while now because we know that there are different learning types. So, in a lesson you try to include something that will connect with a visual learner, an auditory learner and a kinesthetic learner. For centuries, Christian churches have only been addressing one type of worshiper: the person who connects with organ, steeple, stained glass; or more recently, organ, steeple, parking lot.

    Again, that way of doing church is essential, but what is also essential is that there are options for seekers who just aren’t in to it. I share your concern about people taking it too far. But I have that same concern about any leader of any organization anywhere. :S One thing that makes me really want to be a part of the type of church RLP describes is that there isn’t any one leader dispensing his or her singular point-of-view that everyone else is supposed to digest and believe. RLP’s description seems to have an “all indians, no chiefs” vibe which gives everyone a chance to participate and contribute.

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