Two Things Churches Must Give Up

Life begins with paying attention first to what we need to stop doing.  That is the essence of repentance.  Churches do not live outside that dynamic.  So what are two things church might be called to give up?

Churches are called to give up the concepts that it is all about ….

  1. Who has the right ideas
  2. Who is worthy to belong

The battle over “rightness” whether in a marriage or in a church rapidly becomes a non-starter.  That does not belittle the power of truth, especially in terms of God’s Word.  However, it does press us towards a view of truth that remains both focused and open.  Solid.  With ductile edges.  Able to deeply honor the poignancy and privacy of each individual’s journey.  From that place we cease arguing who possesses the better, truer map.

Battles over worthiness likewise are the same non-starter.  Of course there are necessary boundaries and divisions from those with whom contact is toxic or dangerous.  And, if the assumption is ‘open until proven otherwise’ vs. ‘closed until proven otherwise’, we are aligned to Christ’s message.  As Nadia Bolz-Webber phrased it, “Anytime we draw a line, there is Christ on the other side of it.”

Emanuel Swedenborg wrote of a view of heaven aligned outside of “rightness” and “worthiness”, a heaven with places for many, an echo of Christ’s word in John, “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?.”

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One Response to “Two Things Churches Must Give Up”

  1. I have just watched The enlightenment part of the7 practices of peace
    and after 4 times I am getting it. I attend the Georgetown United Methodist Church in Jenison ,Michigan. I have been on mission trips and listen to a great choir but I think they do not really want to change or discuss anything that might change their thinking. The people have come up with a number of radical ideas for survival like radical generosity but stay with the old Methodist laws and do0 not want any suggestions that might help them . I have invited to watch this series but they do not
    seem to want to . They want me to come to their church and I tell them I rather spend my time with the new way of looking at life in the New Church..

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