It’ll Kill Ya’!

Complacency. It’s the thing that the emergent church is trying to get away from and it’s the thing that stagnant churches don’t realize they have a problem with. What I see here are two ends of an extreme – one end loud with their proclamations that the church is outdated and needs to undergo a top-to-bottom overhaul, and the other even louder in their silence. What I see are new and continuing divisions as more and more Christians break away from fellowship. What I see are arguments and conflicts and problems with Christian relationships.

Where are the voices of those in the middle, people like me who see what the emergent church is striving for and who also see the perspective of those on the other side? People who recognize that many of our churches have problems but that _just as many_ do not? People who recognize that many Christians in America have become complacent and are content to stagnate right where they are, being fat and happy, while other Christians are rebelling against that mindset and seeking a more living, vibrant relationship with our God? Where are those voices?

I think most of them are probably doing much of what I have been – sitting back and watching as the emergents struggle to figure out whatever it is they are figuring out while quietly working within our established churches to urge people _out_ of their complacency. I don’t pretend to have it all figured out – I think that a lot of the things the emergent folks are doing are good ideas, even though I don’t agree with all of their philosophies. I also think that the church structure, when applied biblically, is a _very_ good thing and works exceptionally well, and thus the church structure should not be discarded out of hand.

I’m frustrated with the emergent folks who insist that the modern church as it stands today will die and cease to exist within the next 100 years, being replaced some a postmodern church (ironically enough, one that will have a structure all its own). But I’m also frustrated with the church folks who insist that the emergents are all wet and should be criticized harshly at every opportunity.

Essentially, it’s the same complaint I always have – no one really wants to listen to anyone else. No one wants to admit that they might be wrong, so they ignore and dismiss every other argument with casual disdain and disinterest. Why can’t we all just work together to revive the church? I don’t believe the church is outdated or outmoded, but neither do I think it is living up to its full service potential for Christ. I think we can all learn a thing or three from each other, if only we would just listen.

Here ends my ranting and complaining. It’s been a long week….

3 thoughts on “It’ll Kill Ya’!”

  1. I think the key really is for each of us to get busy where we are and not focus so much on what everyone else is (or isn’t) doing. If we put some effort into building relationships while working to make a difference in the world around us a few things can happen.

    We can build partnerships with complacent Christians from all backgrounds. And yes there are plenty of complacent folks inside the emerging churches. We will likely learn that most of them are good people and just living from what they know. We can encourage them to be less complacent.

    Positive activity and some initial results will only encourage the non-complacent folk to attempt even grater things.

    Oh yes, and the unchurched will see church folks from different backgrounds working together for once instead of arguing with each other and be impacted for Christ.

    The key, though is to not worry so much about what everyone else is doing and work where you are.

    By the way, you’ve got a great blog design. I found you when I was poking around looking for a 3 column K2 theme. I’m getting ready to take the plunge to a “real” blog and leave my blogger.com site behind.

    How cool to find another blogging believer who is a sci-fi fan!

  2. Chris, I agree that our primary focus should be on what we are doing, since we really can’t control other people. Real change always begins in my own heart and spreads outward from there as we touch other lives with the love of Jesus. That being said, there is something to say about accountability in the Body, and when we see a brother or sister in the faith making a mistake, it is our responsibility to say something and bring about correction and, if necessary, restitution. And I do agree that if we are doing the right thing and building Godly relationships, the world will take notice.

    Thanks for the compliment. I can’t take credit, though, since the theme came from “elsewhere”:http://aydin.net/blog/2006/03/23/three-column-k2-theme-for-wordpress-3k2/. I just played with the widgets to organize the sidebars to my liking. If you can afford it, a ‘real’ blog is definitely the way to go, since it gives you much more flexibility to custom-tailor it to your tastes. If you ever have any questions or want any advice on getting something set up, lemme know!

    Tim and Chris, thanks for stopping by. I hope you’ll continue reading and interacting.

Have anything to add to the conversation?