thoughts in process

i have been thinking about a few things as of late; that is not to say that i normally do not think of things - well, kind of, i guess. but i digress..... sometimes, for me, things are never as "clear" as they may seem for others - i tend to have more questions then most - i tend to look at things with a "different view." here are a few things i am processing:

my first ponder: with the shootings at the different churches in colorado i am not sure which makes me more uncomfortable - the shooter going into the church and shooting, or that the church had an armed security guard. i mean, the shooter was killed by an "armed church security officer" - i am not sure i like the idea that a church would have armed security. i am not sure where i stand with this, but i am pretty sure i am not for armed security in a church.

my second ponder: what makes an emerging church? is it "method or message?" i mean, if a church is just cool and flashy, but has the same old message does that make it "emerging?" does the church need a "new message" to truly be "emerging? you see, i am not sure where i sit with this - now if you asked me last week i would have given you an answer, but this is a different week and in that my theology has shifted - it could shift back, but it is hard to tell - give me a week. think of it this way, if only the method changes can we truly say we are a "different church?" if we simply put the message in a different cover, can we truly claim we are a "different church?"

my third ponder: what value is the church? now, i am not asking this to piss people off, but to be honest with myself. what value is the church? what do we add to our communities? what do we add to culture? what do we add to the social mix? if all we do is collect funds to keep a building to gather in one hour a week, do we add to the community mix? if programs, ministries and meetings are so important we need to ask what value they bring to the mix.

my fifth ponder: how are we viewed by the world around us? are we seen as closed, old and losing ground? are we seen as a faith that has little to add to the world? are we simply viewed for what we are against?

now i am certain that these are not new ponders - and i am certain that i will be going back and forth over these for the rest of my life - but that does not mean i do not desire to know what this is all about. life is filled with questions, and so should our faith - i am not seeking answers, all i am seeking is other questions.


Jeffrey said...

i can relate man. It makes me sqirm whenever i hear ppl dogmatically proclaim, "well, clearly ________". If it feels right I usually reply with, "It's clear according to who? you?"

for me, often times, the questions are both the journey and the destination (if there had to be one).

RE: Ponder #1--i had the same reaction to the "armed security officer" at that church building.

RE: Ponder #3--i've been in the same place for quite some time. have you stumbled on to my blog recently?

capt_bill said...

On your second item, by definition I don't think a real emerging church can be defined by method or message. By setting a benchmark, you're going to end up with the whole "my church is more emerging than yours and people stop emerging, but taking big leaps to stay with or keep ahead of the other guy.

It's like churches that add candles to a service and do chants so they can be "postmodern". I think people just know an emerging church when they see one, if they take time to look at where the church is coming from.

BTW...I found myself wondering a little about the armed church security too.

Thanks for your voice!

friend said...

I remember visiting Mars Hill and in the bathroom it had something about "join the security team," and I thought about the death threats that they get called in...and it reminds me a little about Peter pullng out his sword... At our last church we had car steros being stolen out of the parking lot - so we got a security guard. I don't think he had a gun though. I wonder what details about the situation there we don't know. Like maybe she wasn't packing a gun - but she had one in the car... who knows.

thoughts on your third ponder:

Our church adds a lot I think. We just helped a homeless person get into a house. We also gave money to a family who was in need to help buy food and pay bills. We support a number of missionaries around the globe on a monthly basis. We have spent a good deal of money serving our surrounding community in practical ways. We helped move furniture into a families home that was in need - we are regularly praying for families that are in dire straights - and one marriage was recently brought back together. We are helping support a few alcoholics in prayer, and people with self-destructive tendencies such as cutting one another - we are preparing to send a crew of kids to work with inner city kids in northern Ireland, and to work with autistic kids at a summer camp in Missouri. We just baptized two, we are seeing folks get set free from porn and develop better love lifes with their spouses. And most of the churches I know (emerging and not) are doing the same amazing things.

There is much to be encouraged about in the church circles I am friends with - and that is in vineyard churches, baptist churches, emerging churches, etc.

It is very exciting time.

rdnakx250 said...

That young man spent his whole life in the church and decided he wanted to kill as many of "us" as possible. What is wrong with this picture? The hypocrisy and cliquish nature of the church fed his bitterness. Now that he passed on I am sure he realizes how wrong he was to do what he did. I LOVE Jesus. Yes, the church tends to drive me nuts but the Lord is going to make it right in the end. No need to get violent!