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Simply Church: Confession

This series is going to be an exploration of what, according to the Scriptures, constitutes a church. What makes a church a church? What should be normative in church? What is a properly functioning church doing? What is happening at a church that is doing things right? What attributes characterize a Messiah reflecting church? What sort of presentation should a church have? Questions like these are what I’m going to try to address.

First, I have to make a confession: I’m scared to look into this. I generally avoid writing about things that intimidate me. Part of what propels me forward in this is my Romans 9 series. That chapter made me feel uneasy and I was nervous to write about it, but actually dealing with the text was refreshing and life giving for me. I hope this will be the same.

I am scared about this for different reasons though. With Romans, I was intimidated by all the theological inferences I have heard drawn from the passage. I am scared to write about church because of all the implications the topic has had for my life. In June-December 2008, my ecclesiology got all messed up. I thought I had a pretty good idea of what I thought church should look like, but when I started really getting down to it and imagining what I thought would be an optimum church environment, I had a lot of questions. I also blame Thorsten Moritz, a house church guy, for catching me at a time when I was most frustrated with and confused by the way that church is done. Anyway, I didn’t want to move forward in a typical church or in starting a new one until I had a better idea about what I thought about church. Then, things got messy.

Some of you know much of my story. Most know a part of it. You can always contact me and I’ll tell you all of it I can think of. I succeeded in getting to a really bad place in my life. I moved into a destructive place in my relationship with God, a place I never thought I would be. How did I get there? One step at a time. I’m scared of writing about church because I might come out of it thinking that I should have just started a church in 09 or gone all in with my involvement in a church then, and then maybe I wouldn’t have gotten to where I was. If I think that then I will think I wasted 2 years of my life. The truth is much of those two years were a waste anyway. I have a hard time accepting that.

And, I have to make another confession: I’m a cynic. Why am I a cynic? A part of it is that God has blessed me with a critical mind that analyzes everything. God has created me to be someone who finds problems and solves them. God has given me a knack for finding problems. I have not done much solution finding in a while though. I am trying. I am trying to criticize less and simply come up with solutions without cynicism. But that’s difficult.

Cynicism is not because I have an analytical mind. The analytical mind enhances it. The cynicism is an expression of anger. I’m angry. I’m full of vitriol. I’m full of frustrated aggression. Cynicism is my view of the world that is driven by my repressed rage.

I needed to confess that so I’m more aware of how I’m thinking about and speaking about church. I’m going to try to speak gently, fairly, honestly, and humbly about church. Keep me in line if I’m not succeeding at that.

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Categories: Simply Church Tags: ,
  1. December 18, 2011 at 3:30 am

    This is gonna be good! Looking forward to reading and engaging brother.

  2. December 18, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    I am blessed to read your stuff. I didn’t know ’09 to ’11 was a bad time for you. I’ve wasted time before too. I’m excited to read your views on church because I’ve felt like my perception of what church is/should be after being at Jacob’s Well and visiting the church in Brazil.

    • December 20, 2011 at 9:23 pm

      I’m surprised we never had that conversation. I forget you only know this version of me. I don’t even like this version of me. Ha.

  3. December 30, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    Thanks for admitting your bent for cynicism and disenchantment with some of the church experiences that affected you. Honesty as a jumping point is essential for valuable dialogue.

  1. April 23, 2012 at 5:57 pm

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