Friday, July 16, 2010


"Buying" Into Faith

A Church for Starving Artists wonders if consumerism ruined he institutional church both from within (think megachurch) and from without (think 9:30AM showing at the local cineplex.) She concludes:
This has contributed to the demise of the church culture. And yet, in the long run, this is not such a bad thing. We who no longer want the church to be "a place where things happen" or "a vendor of religious goods and services" are forced to acknowledge that the church is Biblically something much more profound and eternal: we are the church. We are the Body of Christ - people God has sent out into the world to bless the world.

We gather - and not merely on Sunday mornings - to be equipped and sent out. Those of us who choose this way of life are no longer content to choose something lesser. No longer do we choose to "go to church." No longer do we choose to "use the church" for weddings and funerals, for social and educational activities. No longer is the point to be a committed church member. We choose to be committed followers of the way of Jesus.

Or at least we are trying to do this. But the paradigm shift is huge.

I love the church. I even love my generation, although it sometimes embarrasses me. But I really love trying to figure out how to please God. It involves choosing to devote my life to something different than the Constantian Church.
I wish I could agree with her, but I see so few making the choices she describes. Most I see choose either to ride the old church down or try to turn into the consumeristic church. The church seems to thrash around looking for survival, but never seems to latch on to the one thing that will actually save it. Like someone drowning within arm's reach of shore that just never reaches out.

What I do know is this - consumerism in the forms discussed is the symptom, not the illness - the illness is the fact that we will not reach for the shore. We often do not even acknowledge we are drowning - we feel no need to reach for the shore.

The consumeristic church rose from the problems that its predecessors had, but all it did was substitute problems, becasue the problem is not in how we do church, its in us - we are sinners. We have to start with that.

Confession is the key to moving forward.

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