The Cup Test – Half Full or Half Empty or Something Else? (FAQ Part 6 of 6)
What’s your point of view from the above chart? Is the cup half full or half empty or something else?
I’ve always been a “something else” kind of guy based on the current criteria and circumstances. However, I do like the idea of providing free energy and thus creating peace on earth, as I hold up the cup and politely asking my wife for more ice and a packet of instant sweet tea. =)
We’ll finish up the last 3 questions to the FAQ from the novel, So You Don’t Want To Go To Church Anymore and get the author’s point of view but most importantly a biblical point of view. [View the full article]
#13 – Aren’t you giving people an excuse to sit home and do nothing?
I hope not, though I know it is a danger. I realize some people who leave traditional congregations end up abusing that freedom to satisfy their own desires and thus miss out on church life altogether. Neither am I a fan of ‘church hoppers’, who whip around to one place after another looking for the latest fad or the best opportunity to fulfill their own selfish desires.
But most of the people I meet and talk with are not outside the system because they have lost their passion for Jesus or his people, but only because the traditional congregations near them couldn’t satisfy their hunger for relationship. They are seeking authentic expressions of body life and pay an incredible cost to seek it out. Believe me, we would all find it easier just to go with the flow, but once you’ve tasted of living fellowship between passionate believers, it is impossible to settle for anything less.
#14 – Isn’t this view of church divisive?
Not of itself. People make it divisive when they demand that people conform to their revelation of truth. Most of us on the journey are accused of being divisive because freedom can be threatening to those who find their security in a religious system. But most of us aren’t trying to recruit others to leave their congregations. We see the body of Christ big enough to encompass God’s people however he calls them to gather.
One of the things often said about traditional church is that Sunday morning is the most segregated hour in American culture. We only meet with people who look like we do and like things the way we do. I’ve found now that I have far more opportunity to get with people from a broader cross-section of his body. I don’t demand others do it my way and I hope in time that those who see it differently will stop demanding we conform to theirs.
#15 – Where can I find that kind of fellowship?
There’s no easy answer here. It might be right in front of you among the fellowship you’re already in. It might be down the street in your neighborhood or across a cubicle at work. You can also get involved in compassionate outreaches to the needy and broken in your locality as a way to live out his life in you and meet others with a similar hunger.
Don’t expect this kind of fellowship to fall easily into an organization. It is organic, and Jesus can lead you to it right where you are. Look for him to put a dozen or so folks around your life with whom you can share the journey. They may not even all go to the same congregation you do. They might be neighbors or coworkers who are following after God. Wouldn’t that kind of interconnection among God’s people yield some incredible fruit?
Don’t expect it to be easy or run smoothly. It will take some specific choices on our part to be obedient to Jesus. It may take some training to shake off old habits and be free to let him build his community around you, but it is all worth it. I know it bothers some people that I don’t take my regular place in a pew on Sunday morning, but I can tell you absolutely that my worst days outside organized religion are still better than my best days inside it. To me the difference is like listening to someone talk about golf or actually taking a set of clubs out to a course and playing golf. Being his church is like that. In our day we don’t need more talk about the church, but people who are simply ready to live in its reality.
People all over the world are freshly discovering how to do that again. You can be one of them as you let him place you in his body as he desires.
I wish I could say “and everyone lived happily ever after. The End!”, but if you been following this series, you know there is so much more to uncover.
I’m hoping to do a series on the Book of Acts to get a better understanding of how we “do church” but in the meantime, I’ve got a book by Len Ravenhill that I’ve been wanting to read and dissect called Revival God’s Way: A Message for the Church. If you’ve heard of Len, you know he doesn’t mess around or pull any punches. Listening to his sermons is like a “caffeine shot” to your soul or maybe a good knock on the head.
That’s My King
Moriah Peters – Know Us By By Our Love
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