Saturday, August 21, 2010

Weak Sauce

Church shopping could seriously be a full time thing for me. I know its wrong and Joshua Harris, "Stop Datting the Church" was right on. But like other sins, I like it! I do think it is quite interesting to visit several faith communities just to see what they have going on. What I found remarkable is the diversity in how everyone is dealing with changing of the times. Here is my assessment...(take it with a grain of salt, or a bag of salt)

We are Scared:

From the Progressive House churches, to the traditional mega or semi-mega establishment everyone is shooting from the hip about what to do to reach, teach and send this generation. Its like everyone is very scared about "missing it" or being behind, or not going about it the right way. So most of what you see is very PC, with a Social Justice Bent. Scared to death of how the media can portray anyone to be a hero or a villian regardless of the facts has everyone running to "Base" and playing it safe.

Consider the following statistics by Barna:

71% say they will develop their own slate of religious beliefs rather than accept a package of beliefs promoted by a church or denomination

o Three-quarters of adults (75%) believe that God is motivating them and others to connect with Him through different means and experiences than were common in the past

o Two-thirds of adults (64%) are willing to experience and express their faith in new or different environments or structures than they have in the past

o Only one-third (34%) believe in absolute moral truth

We tend not to view these statistics from a strategic standpoint of "How do we approach a culture in this state." Instead, we view this as market research..."71% want to combine religious experiences lets give them more." "34% don't believe in absolute moral truth...lets not go there then."

I am all for changing the current face of Christianity and agree that People connect with God in ways that are not offered in a traditional church setting....BUT, I believe we are unbalanced.

Jesus ALSO spoke the Truth to Enlighten People and was hated and killed for it.

Come on boys, its ok to grow a pair.


あじ said...

Wait, I thought we were all about market research. Well, at least that's how it looks a lot of the time. Aren't we supposed to be pragmatic?

I find church shopping to be miserable. Why can't we just go to the nearest church in walking distance of our houses? Community should happen in both neighborhoods and churches. But reality tends to curb my idealism: the nearest church can sometimes be a terrible experience.

Creating your own package of beliefs is both normal and problematic. Normal, because everybody is different, experiences different inputs, and those inputs shape beliefs. Problematic, because beliefs are all interrelated, so when picking and choosing you will end up bringing along things that may be unexpected or that you are unaware of. Picking and choosing is a fast route to internal contradiction and disorder. And that is Christologically unsound, because Christ became incarnate to conquer our disorderedness. (I just opened a can of worms there...)

One problem with the desire to "change the current face of Christianity" that I haven't solved is this: it's been changing so much for so long, how can we know what it should look like? It seems like we know intuitively that some things aren't right, but we're not quite sure what to do about it (hence all the shooting from the hip).

あじ said...

This just popped into my head: maybe if we want people to "accept a package of beliefs" we need to do that ourselves first. Like reciting the Nicene Creed out loud, together, every Sunday. Or at least the Apostles' Creed. Well, a man can dream, anyway.