Monday, October 19, 2009

Thinking outside the box

Got an email with this pic from a buddy of mine...pretty appropriate after church yesterday.

I shared from Matthew 17...Jesus' transfiguration story. Peter's quick response is the same response we have..."Lord this is good to be here...let me build shelters for you, Moses and Elijah." In other words...God this good...let me box it up and hold on to it.

We experience God in some significant way and we think that we have discovered the corner on God and we try to box Him in and suggest that this is how God works (and only this way).

Some of the boxes I believe our churches struggle with confining God to:

1. Worship War Dimensia: God can only move and be present in 'our' style of worship. This is the difference between Consumers, who think worship is about their preferences and Producers, who prefer to worship God.

2. Edifice Complex: God is present in the Church and the Church is a location, with a building and an address. This is the difference between the Church as a What (something we go to on Sundays) and the Church as a Who, something we are every day of our lives.

3. The Way We've Always Done It Syndrome: God works this way because its the way he worked in 1878, 1943 and 1982. This is the difference between Traditionalists (the dead faith of the living saints) and Tradition (the Living faith of the dead saints).

4. The Messiah Disorder: God will bring our church to the heights of its potential, if we get the right pastor who will save us, lead us, grow us, etc. This is the difference between putting hope in a system and in a man vs. putting hope in the Risen Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, the only one who can save us, lead us and grow us!

So what other boxes do you see God being stuffed into?

1 comment:

mikeg said...

Interesting points, Ben.

I see your "worship war" idea a lot. People tend to assume that if people don't have "energetic" worship then they aren't really getting in to it.

From a Catholic perspective, a lot of people see the Mass as a rigid form that stifles true worship and try to improve on it to make it more relevant.