Tuesday, November 22, 2005

How you doin'?

I got an email from a friend of mine a few days ago, who I haven’t spoken to in a while, and she asked me how I was doing. I decided to be honest. This is what I wrote:
You asked how I'm doing. The short answer is 'well'. The longer answer: Tons of stuff has happened in the year 2005 for me, both in relationships, and in my faith, and right now I'm in a 'reflective, what does it all mean' phase. I've been doing a ton of thinking about how I live my faith out, and what 'church' should look like in terms of praxis. We've had some pretty significant events happening in our city recently as well, which have confirmed much of my thinking on it. We had a 'debrief' meeting at church last night, a few hours of open conversation with about 50 people in attendance, discussing what people are thinking as individuals, and what they are thinking for our corporate body. There's lots of different views.
Theologically/experientially, I know I'm missing something, and in some ways I think my charismatic friends have some of the answers, but not all (plus a few other things that confuse the situation further). That's another journey I'm on. I'm reading Maclaren's book "A Generous Orthodoxy: Why I Am a Missional, Evangelical, Post/Protestant, Liberal/Conservative, Mystical/Poetic, Biblical, Charismatic/Contemplative, Fundamentalist/Calvinist, Anabaptist/Anglican, Methodist, Catholic, Green, Incarnational, Depressed-yet-Hopeful, Emergent, Unfinished CHRISTIAN" these days and I can relate to a ton of what he's saying. I've experienced so much in my short-lived faith and I'm realizing I'm a 'christian mutt', a mixed bag. I've been eating at the buffet of Christianity, and though I like some flavours more than others, all in all it's been a good mix.
I had lunch with my pastor today, which was great. I was really ticked off actually, because every Tuesday I meet with a couple guys at the church building for lunch, but both of them ‘forgot’. So, I knocked on Karl’s office door, and had a really good chat with him, about church, about our church, about testing prophecy, about ministry, and even a bit of politics. It was excellent.

There’s a bunch of people, myself included, who have a certain level of discontent with the way ‘church’ has been in recent history. I mean that in the generic North American style of doing church, not any particular body. Anyway, I’m excited by the fact that so many people are a bit aggitated and wanting to see something change, some newness, and that possibilities are springing up for this, and that larger church bodies are choosing to bless these people, and not fight against them. I'm presently of the opinion that it's not an either/or divide right now. We don't need to suddenly all stop doing church the way we've been doing it for the past few decades and start doing things in the 'emergent' vein, or any other model for that matter. We don't need to close the doors on our church buildings and solely utilize the house-church model. Both are valid and both minister to people and both bring glory to God. There's some of my thoughts.

  • Here's a good series on Jesus and the Emergant.
  • Bred for it’s magical powers, a liger. I kid you not.
  • I got a kick out of this... I've had troubles opening locked doors before too, but I'm not the president, and I'm not trying to duck out of a press conference early on TV. Watch the video. It's sad that we only get 3 more years of this kind of thing.
  • File this one under the "Things that aren't right in Christendom" category. I think there might be some room left in Pat Robertson's file to squeeze this one in. I've got no problem with a Christian being a successful businessman, but when you use your charitable organization's tax-exempt cargo planes almost exclusively for your personal diamond-mining operation, not for humanitarian purposes, that doesn't sit well. I can't believe how many millions of dollars are given to this guy every year by donors. Hmm, reminds me of something I read in Maclaren's book a couple nights ago. He was talking about the reformation and how it corrected several wrongs in the Catholic church, such as selling indulgences... Maclaren raised the question of whether certain 'protestant evangelicals' have reverted in a subtle way to this very practice. That's a very good question. Your thoughts?


Anonymous Anthony said...

I think prosperity theology is definitely the "reformed" version of indulgences (now for the whole priesthood of believers). I wonder if Robertson's charitable organizations' budgets are publicly available. The fact that this guy is the head of a charity and the head of for-profit companies (gold and diamonds no less) puts him in a very difficult spot.

10:42 a.m.  

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