Tuesday, February 20, 2007

More about Church

If you haven't read my two posts "My Ecclesiology" from October 9th and "What is the Church?" from October 13th to get a little background.

So to pick up where we left off, the Church really is this place where a community of people commit to live together under the rule of God. This rule of God is like a virus that infects their pattern of living, changes their purpose in living, and gives them new reasons for living. Where we have often gone wrong today is that over a long period of time--in some cases centuries--we have taken the outward expressions of that rule of God and systematized them. By this I mean that instead of focusing on developing inward spiritual life as individuals and simultaneously living that life in our relationships with each other, we start with what we think the end should look like in the sense of some sort of church structure/organization and then we try to engineer the people into that structure. And it never works!

Today's churches, even the really good ones, tend to first create or assume certain structures. These structures can be based on theology, denominationalism, heirarchy, or whatever, but they most often in our 21st century western society come about because they outline the power structure of the church.

I recently found a new writer I like: Frank Viola. Viola is in the emerging church movement, but from a different perspective than some others. Here's a great article where he answers a question about how he differs from another of my favorites, Brian McLaren.


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