Sunday, June 10, 2007

Failure to Launch...

This is my first post with an image, yeah!

I was reading this article earlier today and I started thinking about all the things the church is doing wrong with the less than privileged. This and a comment on a previous post that the church may be growing because of intimidation. (Not an untrue comment, either).

What is it that we are doing to push people away from God when our purpose is to do the opposite? Or rather, why are we pushing people away from God, when our sole purpose is to bring them to God?

Is that our purpose anyway? I was debating scripture with a friend from college today. This is not a thing I normally do, neither the debate itself, nor with this person. But the topic of the "greatest commandment" came up. He was misquoting the statement, I corrected and then we had to actually get out a Bible in order to rectify the disagreement. So, in Matthew 22, JC was asked what is the greatest commandment, good ol' JC tells them, "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." (NRSV)

Judging from this passage, our purpose is not to lead people to Christ, but to love God and each other. By any account, we are doing a horse apple job of it.
I guess that is why we ELCA Lutherans say in confession..."We have not loved you with our whole heart, we have not loved our neighbors as our selves..." (Lutheran Book of Worship)

I'm sorry, friends, I've failed you.


~moe~ said...

Hey kiddo. Nobody is perfect. Our confession states that, well...perfectly.
Another blog for thought: read here:

jen said...

First, the turtle is awesome. Or maybe I'm just really lame. :)

One of the things I often find about the church is that we're more interested in keeping JC all to ourselves than sharing. I've thought this for a while now, but I seem to keep gathering evidence lately: people never really get past the age range of about 2-6 years. We don't like to share, we play hide and seek all the time, we throw tantrums, and when we have that deep faith, it's often based on "b/c JC said so"--which is one of the benefits of being stuck in this age range.

Way back in high school I think, someone told me that it's not our job to convert people; that's God's job. We just speak his word and see what happens.

Karen Elizabeth said...

what?! You've been blogging since April and I've known about it!!!

I agree with Jen. The turtle is really cool. And I am lame, so that makes Jen lame as well.

I also agree with your post. As I state earlier, I'm lame so I can't think of anything else to say right now, except HI!!!!

Jason said...

The problems, from my perspective, aren't insularity or exclusivity, but a nonsensical approach into the club.

There's plenty of insistence that others believe, but little reason for others to believe. The "God says so" thing won't quite cut it for someone who disbelieves in the first place, and the "Bible says God says so" thing won't work for largely the same reason. Then there's the appeal to the two-thousand-year-old grapevine.

There's just nothing there.

Of course, I could be wrong. Heh.

Sean said...

Yeah, Jason, but it's more than "conversion." Yes, there is the command to go and make disciples, but the primary commands are to love God and love your neighbor. If I'm not fulfilling those two, then who cares about the "disciple making." Right?

Aside from my failure to convert former roommates (failure to attempt, I think), I have pushed people away from the church for being "not worthy" or a "sinner," when we all sin, regardless of one's definition of "sin."

PS Did you hear that the thespian moved to Forest Lake? We need to get together sometime before OK, OK?