Wednesday, May 23, 2012

2 Fatal Blows To The Church (i.e. People)

At our very foundation we have some things off base.  Most is due to our culture overtaking much of our thinking.  This is a reality we all must honestly face.  We cannot get away from the fact that we are culturally influenced in our pursuit of authentic Christian faith and experience.  To deny cultural influence is to deny reality.

Here are what I believe to be 3 fatal blows our culture has thrown our way that hinder us from walking in the desired and intended ways of our Creator:

  1. Competition.  Western culture, in economics, in homes, in school, in sports....is driven by competition.  We want to win, be the best and more known.  We have bumper stickers for parents that have the "winning" elementary students.  People's pursuit of leadership positions in the church are too often about winning, being first.  Church planting is too often about winning, being the fastest growing and most sought after.  But the Christian life is actually based on serving others, not competition.  Our inward desire to be first can be compared to the disciples (see Mark 9:33-34), but must be met with the ways of Jesus (Mark 9:35). 
  2. Individualism.  We look out for ourselves before looking to help and serve anyone else.  We want privacy so make sure we have proper fences so nobody can see into our backyard.  We need security so make sure we are totally taken care of before helping anyone else out.  Unless we have more than we need we are not happy.  Let me use our physical body as a metaphor here.  The parts of our bodies only take what they need to survive and function.  If one thing begins to fail other parts compensate to pursue the overall health of the body.  If one part consumes more than it needs or there is an absence of compensation parts begin to die.  The only thing within our bodies that consumes more than it needs is cancer.  It's deadly because it serves itself and takes nothing else into consideration as it does so.  This is partly why the Christian life is based on cooperation, not individualism.  
I can't seem to get past the reality that many Primal communities around the world consider competition and individualism as nothing less than a mental illness.