I found a book called “Finding Church” by Wayne Jacobsen, and as I read will supply snippets from the pages.
This post will pull a few thoughts from his chapter on “Unity without Conformity”.
As Wayne is discussing the concept of a conformity based system, (by that a denominational structure I assume), he states…
“People are so busy conforming to doctrine or rituals that they never find the freedom to ask the difficult questions, find thier own journey inside of the new creation, and get to know God in a way that transforms them. They stay underlings in a system designed to keep them safe, but that actually hinders thier growth.”
A little further down, he continues..
“One researcher said that the pedagogy (the method and practice of teaching) of many Sunday morning services is equal to that of a kindergarten class. Where else as adults do we all file in, sit in rows, sing songs, parrot what we are told, and listen passively to what is being said up front?” (Italics mine)
Time for a Story
These snippets remind me of a recent discussion with a brother.
I read a Christian blog that raised a question in my mind, and I asked the blogger for some clarification. He eventually deleted the question. I asked why? He said it is a routine of his to clear out his comments. Fair enough.
A while later I had another question for this brother, based on his teachings. He eventually told me my motivations were evil and that he deleted my comments based on my attitude. Kinda surprised by his response and I started to wonder what actually transpired.
I fear he may be confusing uniformity with unity. I sought this discussion with him for growth in both my understanding and his. I sense he felt threatened. Maybe threatened in his beliefs. We both referred to the Word as our source, but a question that breached an alternate understanding was refused by this brother.
I’m thinking he may be riding the uniformity/conformity train, hoping to find that elusive little town called “Unity.” I’m afraid he may find the village of “Isolation”, right next to the city of “Pride”
Is this brother one who simply parrots back what he has been taught within his group? I hope not, but in my experience, those who depend on “group think” generally feel threatened by outside influences, whether they be good or evil. The very fact that the teaching may be different is what creates the need to reject it. This effort at discussion emphasized the need to go to the source of truth, to struggle with “group think” through understanding the Word of God.
Can you discuss an alternate teaching with a brother or sister, and come away from it challenged, or do you feel threatened?
In other words, Who is your teacher?
Jesus may be using a “heretic” to teach you something you need to understand. (He has used donkey’s before, so…..) Or silently writing in the sand to make a point.
Take the challenge with a positive attitude, prayerfully study it out in the Bible, take your time with the topic, and be willing to repent of your pride. Your experience with the Teacher will only become sweeter!
8 But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers.
9 And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven.
10 Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ.
If any who are reading this and have found what I am describing, please let me know. If any are hungry for church life that “connects”, that is living and breathing, reach out.
Others may be able to help you. Comment as you see fit. I always love hearing from you.
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Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.