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Thursday, March 1, 2007

I weep for us...

Today, I was asked to move out of the house I rent for reasons too many to talk about here. I wept and wept over the situation. I've tried so hard to provide a nice place for my soon to be bride. So much time and paint and work to make it nicer for her... for us. And that's all down the drain. So we're looking for a new place. But that's not what really hurts.

What really hurts me inside is that it happened at all. I weep for us. I weep for Christianity. This is what's wrong with us. With me. So much ignorance went into this decision, it seems. So many people are talking about me without actually talking to me. So many people are slamming the Emergent Church without really knowing anything about it. So much ignorance. So much blindness.

What happened to love? When did we become so obssessed with who's right and who's wrong? We did we lose our backbone? Instead of going to a brother or sister in Christ and talking to them, we talk about them behind their back. I had a friend tell me the other day he doesn't see anyone trying to "out love or out give" one another. When did we quit caring about what we are really here for? Jesus left us here to continue his work. We are supposed to be bringing the kingdom of God here and now. We are supposed to be imitating Christ. We are supposed to love people unconditionally. We are supposed to give as much as we can without asking anything in return. We are supposed to be community.

Maybe you don't know much about the Emergent Church. http://www.wikipedia.com is a great resource for some basic information. You could also try http:///www.emergentvillage.com for some good info on it. I can even suggest some good authors like Donald Miller or Rob Bell or Louie Giglio or Mark Driscoll or Dan Kimball--they all write about a lot of the ideas the Movement holds dear. But if you have questions or concerns, talk to someone. Talk to an Emergent, like myself. Find out what it really is. It's not a bunch of moral relativists (people who think there is no Truth and you can do whatever you want) who sit around and slam the church in America. Its not a bunch of pessimists who don't think the Word of God (ie, the Bible) is important. Its not more division of the church. It is people who are seeking to live like Jesus. Its people who want to see the kingdom of God come here and now. Its people concerned about loving a world that is hurting and dying.

I make mistakes. I fall. I do the wrong thing all too often. I'll be the first to say that I'm not perfect. I'll be the first to say I don't have it all figured out. But I have hope for change. I have hope for us. Even today...

3 comments:

BH said...

I do, contrary to what many people might believe, have a profound interest in religion and spirituality. I have long been disenfranchised with the church environment that I grew up in, and entered the larger church environment with a great disdain for what I perceived to be a "smoke and mirror" show instead of an opportunity to learn.

I am absolutely disgusted by the politicization of Christianity in America and the evangelical church's fervent interest in influencing (if not directly controlling) the personal lives of Americans. My ire comes from all directions when I think of the church: from pastors’ sermons condemning the Democratic Party (heard this one at Greenwood) and commanding the elderly or the poor, blind youngsters (who find it easier to listen to their pastor than to actually attempt to think for themselves) to support (or vote for) their ludicrously conservative causes; the flashy sermons with no substance; the church cliques; the “I’m more chic than you” attitude that many [specific] church patrons (Broadway Methodist, Living Hope, Hillvue, Holy Spirit) flaunt. It irritates me badly.

I understand your frustration.

Living Hope’s aspirations to become a mega-church bother me. My boss is on the planning and review committee that is overseeing their planning/construction. He said that their mechanical building is 10,000 square feet. That is absurd. When they were asked to compare the size of their new complex to a building in the city, they chose Greenwood Mall. Worse, they’re fighting tooth and nail to keep the city from requiring them to install a fucking traffic light. Pathetic. My boss said that their architect kept snidely saying “Well, we just want to make sure we get the most out of the Lord’s money,” while the church reps just nodded approvingly. Try feeding the fucking homeless then. It’s all about power and influence, and if they think that rational people don’t see that, then they’re fools.

I’d like to discuss your plight sometime, man. Give me a call.

Jennie said...

(((HUGS))) Wow, the trials we go through for God to grow us, John David. I pray God will wrap His arms around you and comfort you. I'm sure you'll gain wisdom through this despite the hurt it has caused you. I know you were so excited the last time I saw you getting the house ready for Brittney. At least you have a strong woman beside you who understands and supports you through times such as these. What matters most to me, and I echo your sentiment of hopefully to "all" brothers and sisters in Christ is that we are SAVED by the blood of Christ . . .our salvation . . .others salvation is what matters most. This world is so fleeting - just a temporary setting before life really begins. I know the deepest desires of your heart are pure and to bring others to Christ, rest in that, JD. Have peace knowing God will bless you for the servant you are here and one day say, "well done good and faithful" . . .

Dan said...

Prayed for you and the situation. Hang in there...

Peace in Jesus,

Dan