Thursday, September 03, 2009
Is It Over?
Today I want to explore a radical thesis: We've got to allow our denominations to die. Okay, maybe it's not so radical and it has been said before. Not to mention that many denominations are doing great work and are still teaching Scriptural truth as they minister in the name of Jesus.Toby has some vital and important points. Please read it all. In many ways, I agree with him, our institutions are moribund, stagnant, and in most cases corrupt. The are obstacles to God's work, not aids.
So maybe I should amend the thesis to just target oldline, sidelined, flatlined mainline denominations.
But I also fear for their demise greatly, because of what may take their place. When I look at the average independent Evangelical congregation, when I look at the "emerging church," when I look at the home church movement, I see church diminished. Not as a societal organ, it has always been arguable precisely the role the church should have in the organization of worldly affairs - but rather I see faith in Christ reduced from moving to God, to God about us. Faith reduced to self-improvement.
Christianity does not begin and end with personal salvation. Rather personal salvation is the beginning of a journey to God. On that journey we need signs, directions and guidance. The church, the institution, plays a surrogate role. It gives us something to practice subjugation to on the path to subjugating ourselves to the only One worthy of it. The church has corrupted because it has fund itself worthy of the subjugation.
But the solution does not lie in leaving ourselves subjugated only to ourselves.
Someday I may have to walk away from the Presbyterian Church, but I will not walk to any of the "new" things. I want an institution that functions correctly, I do not want no institution.