15.10.03

Ok, rant time. From now on, if I go into a rant on here, I will title it, and label it rant, so you know.

Rant: When the Trouble started for the Church

I am supposed to be studying for my midterm on Friday and preparing for my bible study tommorow. I have been, but I decided to take a break. I was looking through some of the music I had on my computer, some old stuff. Ever heard of Carman? Probably not; he is a Christian musician whom I first listened to way back in elementary school. His songs are interesting; very eighties, though I think he continued producing past that, those are the songs I have. I listened to one, called "Its Our Turn Now". It starts out with a news broadcast, presumably from the time and date it mentions, about prayer being removed from classrooms in america. June 17th, 1963. It goes on to say how the world has screwed up, but its our (our being the church) turn now, and were going to do better. While I think Carman has the right idea, that is the church should be serving and helping the world, tryign to make it a better place by the standards of Jesus, I think that he might be missing the point. Prayer being removed from school? That was the Church's turn, that is what we did with it. The crisis didn't begin on that day, as if tuesday everything was cool and then on wednesday somehow the world fell apart. It began before that when we stopped praying. The end didn't start with the sexual revolution, but when the church adopted victorian standpoints (and also created them) on sex, thus failing to celebrate the beauty of this amazing gift from God. It didn't begin when our society started praising tolerance as the highest virtue, and redefining it to boot. G.K. Chesterton said that tolerance is the virtue of those who lack conviction. No, the decline started when one day we went to bed without persecution, and we woke up without conviction. The begginning of the end happened right when we were at our best; we had the most people, the most money, we had a Christian Nation. And from there on out, its only gotten worse. We started to be more concerned with our survival than with our servanthood. It doesn't work; we are called to serve, and often that service leads to our death. The monk Telemachus could not have known wether or not he would have any affect when he jumped into the gladatorial ring, on that fateful day, the last day of the Roman games, in Christian Rome no less. He died, and the games finished. Was it good stewardship? How could he know, he did it anyway. Did it help him survive? No, he died. But it ended the games, for good. The trouble began when we began seeing the church as an organization instead of an organism (thanks to Rick Warren for that one). We began to die the day we became more concerned with preserving and duplicating our success than we were with following God. You can point at the world all you want, but you can't deny our part in making it. In the last years we have had, if anything, an over churched leadership in arguably the most influential country in the world (though I loathe to say it), the United States. Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, Al Gore, the Bushes. In his book "The Liquid Church" Pete Ward makes a good point. We live at a time when interest in Spirituality is rising, people are seeking more than what was offerred by modernity and are willing to look into the supernatural to get it, etc. The second last page of "Life After God" by Douglas Coupland says this: "Now - here is my secret: I tell it to you with an openness of heart that I doubt I shall ever achieve again, so I pray that you are in a quiet room as you hear these words. My secret is that I need God - that I am sick and can no longer make it alone. I need God to help me give, because I no longer seem to be capable of giving; to help me be kind, as I no longer seem capable of kindness; to help me love, as I seem beyond being able to love." If this is the case, "if people want God, then the problem doesn't lie with those outside the church; it rests on those inside." (pg. 75 of Liquid Church).

So whats the point of this rant? This is me yelling at the church, and to Christians, to get their heads out of the sand. The problem lies in YOU!!! It also lies with me; we need to take responsibility and move on. Yes our culture and our world has problems, yes we are all fallen people, and yes the world could do with some improvement. So what? Tend to your own house, take the plank out of your own eye first. Don't condemn the world, thats not your job. Stop pointing the finger and start searching your heart. Sometimes i just get frustrated.

"I'm part of the problem I confess, but i gotta get this off my chest. Lets extinguish the anguish for which were to blame, and save the world from going down in flames" Relient K "Down In Flames"

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