Thursday, December 6, 2007

Everything Must Change

That's the name of a book from Rev. Brian Mclaren. I started to read it a while back but other readings for school have taken up much of my reading time and it, along with several others have found a place on the book shelf for the time being. I'm not going to get into the details of the book, but today Rev. Rory (see the link on the side bar) posted a blog about an article Mclaren had blogged. I too recommend the article, which pertains to the book. However, the interesting read for me were the comments from readers. I wasn't surprised by the attacks on the "religious right" but I was fascinated by many of the reasons people gave for not being active Christians. People had left the church for a number of reasons, the pointed fingers at various Christian faiths for ruining the Christian religion. The most surprising thing to me were those that left because, and this is my view on their comments - so I may be off base, which is absolutely possible! - there were certain things they didn't like. In other words the church they left wasn't perfect. Wow. Imagine that, a group of people doing something together that isn't perfect! The other thing that struck me was the "me" factor. Lot's of individualism that in my view totally misses the point of Christianity.

I'll be the first to admit that the Church isn't perfect. Most denominations are struggling with issues. I don't agree with everything the United Methodist Church does, but I don't run and hide from reality. I hope that things will change in our denomination someday and I hope to work constructively within the church to get that done. Taking my toys and going home isn't going to change anything. Change not only comes from within for individuality spiritual growth, it happens that way for the Church as well. As far as I know there's only One example of perfection on earth.

The individualism is also alarming. In another book that I was reading and hope to finish soon, Take this Bread: A Radical Conversion by Sara Miles the author makes a statement that "you can't be a Christian alone". The point being that to be truly Christian, to live in the example of Christ, you need to be part of the family of Christ; not just showing up on Sunday morning but being actively involved, part of the body, the community of Christ. I think the people that are looking for that perfect fit, are more worried about themselves are missing the point of Christianity. I feel sorry for them too.


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