31 March, 2006

Metamorphosis and Contraction - 4

Thank you to all who have read M & C's 1-3. I have literally been afraid to broach this subject to myself, and having someone listening as I thought through these things has been a genuine blessing. I owe all of you something, so if you can think of any way I could repay you, feel free to collect!

I don't know whether it will come across in these few more pages how far I have moved since starting this blog, and since writing the first post of this series. I can assure you that Codepoke a la 1987 would have written a dirge mourning the shipwreck that is Codepoke 2006 after reading this post. I'm pretty sure that my current, advanced age would not given me much pause. ;-)

FWIW, this M & C - 4 is not about dreaming up castles in the sky, or a holy wish list. What I describe here I will either find somewhere or I will try to build it. This is no game for me, no mental exercise. I lost 15 years of my life because I got this wrong once already. If I have 30 years left, I might have 2 more tries left in me. That's not much. I cannot allow myself to waste that time sitting in a place that cannot do the work of the kingdom.

Conclusions, 3/31/2006

What does a church look like that can do the good works God has prepared beforehand for them?

The church will know their goals.
Goals differ from Purpose. The purpose of the church is to show the multifaceted wisdom of God. The goals of a church, though, are profoundly smaller. Think of them as milestones along the path. They are things to which you and I can contribute. Here are 6.

- To be the right size
Fewer than 50 people is almost unworkable. More than 500 I cannot imagine. Maybe I'm wrong on this; I have no experience of a church with more than 300 people. I am imagining a church of 100 - 300 people as I write these things. I have heard told that the human brain is hardwired to know 150 people on sight, so I think there's a limit to how big a church should be.

- To have a stable leadership
This matters. When the people don't know who will be leading them over the next months, they are afraid to reach out and try things. Stability is more important than superstar talent.

- To have a broad leadership
There should be a leader for every 5-20 people. Think of a mother/father hen more than a bible scholar. I cannot imagine a church of 200 with fewer than a dozen leaders, though I can easily imagine it with 40. The lower the leader is in the feeding chain, the easier it is to talk to him or her. Yes, I said "her". I do not believe that the church works without women in leadership, but feel free to tune out my mentions of "her" in leadership if you must.

Broad leadership will not work if it remains overly centralized. As long as the church is run by businessmen who see it as a CEO/Pastor plus a Board of Directors/Elders, we are out of luck. Each little group needs to be responsible for their own decisions and their own actions, and that will be hard to teach at first.

- To spread the labor as deeply as possible
Now that the church has leaders running out of their ears, let's get them busy. Specifically, let's get them busy keeping their people busy. Give them meaningful work, and make sure everyone gets recognition when good work is done.

- To find meaningful labor
Here is the key goal. If everyone has enough to do, and if what they have to do is necessary work, any group will be knitted together. Do you wonder why men are underrepresented in the church? They don't have anything meaningful to do. If you take a man, give him a rifle and teach him how to be a soldier all day every day, you had better give him something meaningful to do or you are going to have a morale problem soon. Give a man a bible and 52 weeks of every year teach him how he would use it if he were doing anything meaningful, and that man is soon to be gone.

Work draws men, and hard work draws strong men. Guess what. I bet it draws strong women too.

Meaningful work comes in thousands of shapes and sizes. There is work toward God, work toward each other, and work toward the people around us. We could stay busy for lifetimes, if only someone were there to tell us what to do. But God doesn't work like that. He gives us some talents and leaves us alone. It is ours to figure out how to invest those talents, and that is why I emphasize finding the work that is to be done. Sometimes it reaches out and bites us, but usually finding the right work is the most important work of all.

Listening to the Word and worshipping are necessary bits of work, but everyone is already doing them. There's other work out there that needs doing, too.

- To sow meaningful holiness
I mean three things here. Holiness should be grown, not policed. It should focus on things that make a real difference, not the little things that are so easy to measure. And, holiness should be a drawing near to God, and only incidentally a pulling away from the world.


The church should sow holiness, not enforce secondary standards. Enforce the ten commandments, sure. Don't let everyone start drinking blood, yeah. But don't try to tell people how much beer is unholy. Instead, plant the seeds of holy lust for eternal communion with the Lord Who bought us.

There is a lot of meaningless holiness in church history (not so much in modern America, it seems.) Abstaining from a hundred tiny pleasures may not be a bad thing, but that is not holiness. Such abstinence is discipline. Discipline is good when used with wisdom, and I encourage it. But the church needs to plant, water and reap something a little more substantial.

Holiness is more than sinlessness, even. Holiness is a separation toward God. Separating from worldly things is not bad, but it is not necessarily effective, either. Separating from movies might only join you to books, for example. Separate toward God, and you should find that movies and books both end up in their proper places.

The church will be local
I cannot see any way around this. You can try to pull a church together from all over the city, but I don't think it will ever reach as high as one grown from a single neighborhood. Forget the fact that it cannot happen for just a second, please. Imagine that you could see every house of the 10 people you labored with in the church. Imagine that you knew each other well enough that it would be freaky if no one knocked on your door all week. I've lived it, and after experiencing it, I believe it is why we are here on this planet.

For the first month of trying this, a church should take as their first labor "meal sharing." Everyone should know who their block leader is, and who is in their little group. The block leader will help coordinate the meals so that everyone has at least two church dinners each week. Each person has someone different from the little group over and goes over to someone else's for dinner. After 4 weeks, everyone would have had 4 singles/couples/families over at their house and been in 4 other houses for dinner. What's even more cool is that if there are 15 groups, then all 15 groups are doing the same thing, but each group is having their own individual experience. There will be lots of stories to share when you get together!

We need to get comfortable in each other's homes. It is a foundational labor. For most of us, the Lord is already a big part of our homes, but the church simply isn't. The church in some other place, and we have to drive to them. The church needs to be people we have sitting on our futons. We need to know each other in real ways before we can love each other in real ways.

The local neighborhood will know its church for its good works
I cannot be the only person who interprets Rev 22:2b as describing the church's relationship to the world around her.

And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.

The tree here is the Lord plus His church. He is the Vine, and we are the branches. The fruit of the tree is given for the Lord and for the church. The leaves of the tree, though, are for the healing of the nations. And so history shows it. Nations that have embraced the church have done so to their great profit. Literacy, equality, compassion, justice, democracy, mercy, and even wealth have followed the church wherever we are welcomed. This is no totem of superstitious coincidence. The health of the nations is helped by the blessings of God and by the natural effects of living in closer harmony with the design of the universe.

The church should extend her leaves to the neighborhood. We should care for those around us who need care. We should be a voice of reason in the PTA dogfights. We should make the parks nice places for everyone to be. We should be in tune to what's happening in local government, and even contribute there.

Our little church should bring healing to our little neighborhood.

Preaching and Teaching may be central, but they will not be the center
The center of the church is "Thou shalt love the Lord they God," and "love thy neighbor as thyself."

Love here is a verb involving the heart, mind, soul and strength. Preaching should put us in the way of doing that, but sitting under preaching is not loving God and it is not loving my neighbor.

If the church can apply itself to loving God, each other and the neighborhood, something amazing will happen. We will begin to fail at things. Failing is a good, good thing! When we finally begin to fail, it will prove that we are no longer sitting on our thumbs. Failure trumps boredom any day, too! Not to mention that it softens our hearts for instruction. Nothing better could happen for a teacher than to have a class full of students who suddenly care about the lesson at hand. Preaching becomes fascinating when it applies to something everyone is experiencing together!

To be always learning, and never coming to the application of the truth is not a good thing. I know that we each go home and apply each of the sermon's truths individually, but applying them as a church is so much stronger.

People will disagree on doctrine
This is a treasure, not a burden.

Tennis analogy again. I hit a one-handed backhand. Most of my friends hit a two-hander. It gives us something to talk about! We get to look at the relative advantages of each style and see them in action. Kids joining our team get to hear both sides of the argument and choose intelligently. If we split into different tennis denominations, then I have to drive to Lower Slobovia to find 12 decent one-handers to make a team (we are a rare breed any more) and my life gets that little bit more boring. Why do that to myself?

I now disagree with almost every biggish doctrine my first church gave me. So what? I was a child of the Lord then every bit as much then as now - I just hadn't made many mistakes yet. Should Codepoke a la 2006 disfellowship Codepoke 1976? Both '76 and '06 subscribe to the Nicene Creed, and I think that's good enough. But the issue is not the doctrines, but the life inside. Life is drawn to true doctrine. Flesh is drawn to false. Who shall deliver me from the doctrine of this death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Think of the arrogant pride I might never have learned had I been able to fellowship with people who believed both what I believed then and what I believe now? I could not have believed that just because 'my church' said it, it was God's own truth. I would have had to understand a doctrine before pontificating upon it. And when I picked a side, I would have chosen it knowing that Johnny over there is respected by everyone, even though he has the nerve to disagree with me.

Please, please, please, end this curse of denomination.

The church will worship with variety
This is important.

Corn, rice, and hamburger patties make a good meal. Corn, rice, and hamburger patties for 10 years, though, will kill a man. Not to mention how unpleasant that 520th meal will be. Our palattes take joy in variety because our bodies a variety of nutrition to survive. We need different veggies, meats, and starches to keep all the little organs working at full capacity.

When there is so much variety in the Lord, why are we satisfied to hear a different sermon than last week? Why are satisfied when the songs are a little faster this week than last? It's like putting barbeque sauce on the hamburger instead of salt and pepper. Sure, it's a little different, but it's not variety. It's not healthy. Cast the sermon into the outer darkness for a month. Let the church share testimonies instead. Instead of singing 3 hymns, have 3 people pick and present 3 psalms. Let everyone read them together. Hey, just try turning off the stupid loudspeakers so the people can hear themselves sing! You might be surprised. Try "holler-back" praise. Let the people on one side of the room declare something, and the people on the other echo it.

Variety is hard. It's work, but it's worthy work.

Church will take time
There has to be a balance in all things, but in this one we are currently light on the "work" side. We complain that we are sucked into the world's attractions, but we don't backfill the vacuum that leaving the world's amusements creates. The world often works to draw us away from the Lord by entertainment, and sometimes the church tries to answer with holy entertainment. Bzzzzt.

The correct answer is work.

Work gives a feeling of satisfaction that entertainment cannot match. Really. The world loses this battle when it is properly engaged. The 2 keys are to seldom work alone, and to seldom do "busy work." If most of the time, you are working with someone you enjoy, doing something that you know matters, you are not going to miss that TV.

Notice, though, that I have the church taking its time from our "entertainment" time, not our family time. The church should seldom take time away from family. It is foolishness to think that if we serve the church with all our might our families will be the better for it. I would also say that the church should not take 100% of our entertainment time (or when would I play tennis?)

Us fanatical nutcases need to be reminded of these things.

There will be a building.
The cathedrals of Europe are an offense to me. I despise them. They exist because men with evil hearts chose to make something beautiful to gratify themselves. They sat down with their abacii and worked out how to stir dread in the hearts of all who came to God, then built those monstrosities on the blood of the people. May the Lord repay them.

Every now and again, I just have to say that out loud. I know it is a minority position.

I have learned that my despite for cathedrals is not a good reason to reject the idea of buildings dedicated to the Lord's work. That building has the potential to be a really useful thing. I don't believe the majority of church buildings are used well, but they could be. Besides, if the churches were suddenly to be transformed into building-clasts, they would flood the market selling their buildings anyway, so there's no point trying that plan. ;-)

----

Alright, I think I have said enough.

I doubt any of you is as surprised at some of the things you found here as I. I am shocked by a number of them. I never thought I would say anything nice about church buildings, for example. I never thought I would say anything positive about the church encouraging holiness. I was converted and raised legalist (and I was a natural at it) so I tend to fear of a police church.

If there is an area of practical church implementation that I skipped, please point it out. (Except money. I did not talk about that here because I am still not ready. Maybe some day.)

This was fun. Thank you, again.

14 comments:

Milly said...

This became a very long responce.

I can understand what you’re saying and on some points I agree.

The cathedrals of Europe are an offense to me.

I agree, except from an artist point of view. Sin is beautiful it draws you in, the product of it is ugly.

I also agree that you can become chained to that building. My husband is in charge of maintenance at our church.

As for less tv, computer, movie, and other thing that we put before our Lord, I could go for it.

I’ve tried to get them to do an unplugged service. It hasn’t happened yet, not holding my breath. And as someone who runs sound, I’m not sure I want that little job to go away. Those people are like family to me. However, when we had the church filled the Wednesday before ISWW we brought the sound down it was so awesome to hear the people singing. They weren’t there to hear great singing groups they were there to worship God.

People will disagree on doctrine

They do in large and small churches, they will on the sofa. It’s how you handle it is what counts. You must prepare for that. I met one of my bosses today she told me from the get-go that she was a b***h. You would need to prepare for people who have no problem making their point very intensely. I can take people like that better than the behind my back ones and for some reason they will be there too. You’d have to prepare.

The local neighborhood will know its church for its good works


I like this. Our church was known at one time for our good works and we are trying to work our way back.


The church will be local


Now here’s where I stand on this:

I have met some great folks because of that location (I know it’s God but we are talking about location right now) Some of us don’t even live in the same city. My husband and I were asked to help an elder with his group from the same area we were from, unfortunately that ball dropped. We have in the past tried to group according to areas so that you could know who lives near you. So why tell you this? I believe if done properly and followed up on you can become a sort of neighborhood church, in the way that when you walk into the large building on Sundays you would see Bob and be able to talk about the going on at the park and how Caroline needs someone to help mow her yard now that she’s ill. A large church can feel very small I’ve said this so many times when people would say that they felt over whelmed in my church. I find joy there, elephants and all.

I like your dream and I can say if you moved into my neighborhood and walked over one Saturday afternoon because you noticed my husband working on the yard and introduced yourself to him. He would like that. I might see you talking and wonder out to ask if he were almost finished and introduce myself. He’d say I’m almost done for today. I’d say then I’ll start the grill
(My dream) You might say sounds good. It’s just me tonight and I’m still stepping over boxes. I’ll probably order pizza. I might just ask you to dinner. We would love to have a place close to come together with neighbors to fellowship. Just not on Sunday mornings.

We can pass the Heavenly fruit salad on Tuesday. ;-}

Milly said...

This is the message in all of what I was trying to say. No matter how many miles away we are, we are still united brothers and sisters.

Jesus Prays for All Believers

"My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—

Danny Kaye said...

There are definately some good thoughts in this, Codepoke. I know you speak from the heart and we always know where you stand on things. That is appreciated. And by you posting the M & C's I have had to do some rethinking of my own. I like that.

One question before I forget...You mentioned your "advanced age" in this post. I got the impression we were about the same age. And I am certainly not advanced! ;-) I am 41 as of a coupla weeks ago. Just how old are you, you geezer?! (heh-heh)

I will say that I love the points about leadership, meaningful labor, the building, and preaching and teaching. I agree with almost everything you wrote in those points. And it calls me higher!

Now let me give my insights on a coupla things that you may or may not agree with.


Regarding (as Millie pointed out) the local, neighborhood church:
I know just by the name of your site that you believe in this wholeheartedly. But I have always questioned the biblicalness of it. I read in the scriptures that there was one church in a city. They may have broken things down into smaller groups (as per the Jethro principle), but still they were one church. And it worked for them very well.

Now, as a member of a congregation that spans a great portion of the Hillsborough County of NH, I must say that it can certainly work.


Regarding the size of the church:
I can only once again go back the the scriptures. I don't read anything in the NT restricting size. Some of the churches in the First Century had thousands, and even tens of thousands of disciples in each city. I have been a part of a ministry that at one time kissed the 8,000 mark. When it comes to God's Kingdom, I do not believe in strength in numbers. But let me tell you, when you worship every Sunday in the Boston Garden for a coupla years straight, you can't help but get fired up and pumped about the singing, praising, and all out collective worshipping of out awesome God. In many ways, I wish we still did that. But in many ways, I am glad that NH became its own mission field.


Regarding doctrine:
You know how I feel about doctrine. It is extremely important that the doctrine regarding salvation is right. When Jesus began the church 2000 years ago, he did not teach more than one way of having your sins forgiven. Nor was there a new teaching in the book of Acts or any of the other NT books. Somehow, we have multiple ways of getting into the Kingdom...but the Bible only teaches one way. We absolutely hafta wrestle with the scriptures to ensure we are teaching people how to have their sins forgiven.

I will gladly end the curse of denominationalism. I did not get baptized into the Granite State Curch of Christ...I was baptized into Christ. Call me whatever you want. Call my congregation anything you want. Just know that I am a Christian, and that I am part of Christ's church. We agree that denominationalism is wrong, even though we disagree on certain methods.

As to other practical implimentations of the church, you left out one that I hold near and dear to my heart: The Lord's Supper.

I have lots to say about that. But if you want to make a post about it, I will save it for then.

Thanks for your insights and your heart, Codepoke. From what you write, I really think we have had some similar backgrounds and it endears me to you.

Milly said...

Side bar on this. We as COC folks agree on this. Nancy Grace's bad interview sure was wrong.

I will gladly end the curse of denominationalism. I did not get baptized into the Granite State Curch of Christ...I was baptized into Christ. Call me whatever you want. Call my congregation anything you want. Just know that I am a Christian, and that I am part of Christ's church. We agree that denominationalism is wrong, even though we disagree on certain methods.

I believe that when it's all said and done It won't matter how you dove in as long as you dove in heart first.

codepoke said...

Thanks, Milly and Danny Kaye.

we always know where you stand on things.

No sooner did I know, than you did!

You mentioned your "advanced age" in this post. I got the impression we were about the same age. And I am certainly not advanced! ;-) I am 41 as of a coupla weeks ago

In 1987, at 23, I thought 41 was pretty much up there. I'm about a month from 42, so yeah, we're neck and neck. I was joking as I wrote it, but to be honest, the divorce added about 15 years to how I feel. Not 15 years of wisdom, mind you, just 15 years of old.

At 19 I had a goal for my life. I was going to be a diesel mechanic, because it is a portable trade. I was going to study and study and study the scripture until I might be helpful to someone. And at 40, I would be able to help any church anywhere.

40 was my goal. I was going to get to 40 without having spent my youth ministering, because I knew I would not be ready. I would only hurt people. I was right about that. I managed to hurt people without even taking authority to myself within the kingdom of God. But, by age 40 I would be ready.

Instead I found myself here at 40.

This post is really about sifting through the ashes of my (church) dreams. Finding out whether some of them were living gifts from the Lord, or whether they were all the idealistic ravings of a disturbed youth. My fear as I find that I still believe over half of what I believed then, is that I am yet a raving nutter.

That you both see a little beauty in there is a comfort to me. Thank you.

codepoke said...

Milly,

People will disagree on doctrine
... It’s how you handle it is what counts.


Amen. I have not mentioned it, but I deal with this every day at work. Programmers are wonderfully creative people, but they can be a little set in their ways. Ask an Open Source programmer to use a Microsoft product some day, and you will see what I mean. I am of the Open Source religion (and they do call these "religious wars.")

I have seen this work for programmers, and I believe it can work for the church. It really is how you handle it. We just need to be thrown in with each other + the right tools.

I have met some great folks because of that location

Of course. You met Christians. Doesn't it make you wish that you could all live together, though?

(If it doesn't, I question whether they are that great of folks, but I know it does.)

Praise the Lord for the church as they are today. Praise the Lord for the love we have for each other today. I just know that it could be better. I'd lay dollars to donuts that of the 1000 people living closest to you now, a lot of them are Christians, and a bunch of those are great folks.

I think the ideal church will be local. I don't know how to get from "here" to "there", though. I have some ideas (of course), but none even as realistic as the M & C series.

We would love to have a place close to come together with neighbors to fellowship.

I'd have to try my luck at some spades against you. I ain't skeered!

This is the message in all of what I was trying to say. No matter how many miles away we are, we are still united brothers and sisters.

True, and praise the Lord. I'm glad this is so. I still believe that we are called to be a "touchable" church, too, but thank the Lord for the universal church.

codepoke said...

Danny Kaye,

I know just by the name of your site that you believe in [the local church] wholeheartedly. But I have always questioned the biblicalness of it. I read in the scriptures that there was one church in a city. They may have broken things down into smaller groups (as per the Jethro principle), but still they were one church. And it worked for them very well.

I believe there were 10,000 Christians living in one ghetto of Antioch in Syria. I believe that where we know something of the situation, the Christians always moved together into one area, and then yes, they were one church.

If you are going there, I'll go with you, but I don't see anyone doing that. This was my dream in 1987 and 1997. I don't see it holding me in 2007. Instead, as I look around, I see each denomination calling itself "the" church in _______.

There's actually a church less than 1 miles from my house that is officially named, "The Church in Columbus." They are part of "The Local Church" movement started by Witness Lee - a very large splinter group from the Little Flock raised by Watchman Nee. My home church had many things in common with the Local Church, so I can tell you for certain that the road to "one city - one church" is fraught with peril.

I see the scriptures you see, and I see the attraction of the idea. It held me for years. Given the landscape of today's Christianity, I just believe that it is off the table. There is no way to call yourself THE church in a city without growing exclusive and closed.

But let me tell you, when you worship every Sunday in the Boston Garden for a coupla years straight, you can't help but get fired up and pumped about the singing, praising, and all out collective worshipping of out awesome God.

I envy you. If anyone gets there, I will praise the Lord with them. As long as there is intimacy at some level, then I think it's all good. A church of 8,000 with 400 little groups and about 1000 active leaders sounds thinkable to me. Not necessarily achievable, but thinkable.

It is extremely important that the doctrine regarding salvation is right.

No argument here. The Nicene Creed does that for me. I know you value agreement in doctrine more highly than I do, but I am advocating more doctrine, not less. Even at the cost of disagreement, I think we need to know what God has done, and what God has made us.

you left out one that I hold near and dear to my heart: The Lord's Supper. I have lots to say about that. But if you want to make a post about it, I will save it for then.

I will look forward to your post on the Lord's Supper. Suffice it to say that whatever you suggest, I would love to try. I'm all about the "doing it". Within this post, the Lord's Supper was hidden in the parts about worshipping in a variety of ways. It will be a while before I post on it again, I think.

I really think we have had some similar backgrounds and it endears me to you.

Yeah, I have enjoyed hearing just how similar. Thank you for sharing those things. (And I like chicken cordon bleu, too ;-)

codepoke said...

I believe that when it's all said and done It won't matter how you dove in as long as you dove in heart first.

Heart first. I like that, Milly. Amen.

Milly said...

Ya young'ns I will be hitting 45 this Halloween! Yiks!

Milly said...

Codepoke,

Those of us that have been married for any amount of time know how hard it can be. Divorce isn’t easy even when you know you have to leave. (My abused friend struggled) I’m praying for you.

I don’t get why you don’t see how great you could be with the Word. I felt a bit intimidated when I first started to lead. I was shocked when they asked me. Me, I can’t quote it and at times I can’t find it. I was able to do it. It was from my heart.

Here’s the thing God doesn’t care, he wants you and your heart. He probably wants you to just tell them rather than spewing scriptures that don’t help them. You have a lot to give. Yes, I believe in reading the Bible. I have put more scripture in my posts than I thought I would. I want for it to come from my heart and from our God.

Today or minister told us to check out other churches see what others believe. I have, that may be why I’m a bit open minded about doctrine or the way some think it has to be done. I’ve enjoyed the Assembly Of God Church, my cousin peaching at his Baptist church, Catholic church, Christian Church, and my brother’s Presbyterian church. I like the COC. One thing that they all have, they love God, they want to know Him better, and they want to welcome you in.

(Find a point Milly)

Here’s the point It doesn’t matter if it’s four people in their early twenties sitting around my apartment eating sausage gumbo and talking about God or if it’s 8000 in a stadium as long as we are giving God the glory He is pleased. So pass the Heavenly fruit salad honey and let the sharing of the Word begin! (I sound a bit Okie) :-]

codepoke said...

Divorce isn’t easy even when you know you have to leave. (My abused friend struggled) I’m praying for you.

Thank you.

Just to be clear, I did not leave. I was left. It's easier that way than what your friend went through. I pray she found peace. Also to be clear, the trauma is basically behind me now. I took it harder than those I have seen around me, but that is just in my nature. The Lord was very kind, and I found some friends. He healed me more completely than I was before the marriage.

I don’t get why you don’t see how great you could be with the Word.

Oh, I am arrogant enough to want to teach, and to believe I could. No worries there, I'm afraid. One great thing about the Internet is that I am learning how woefully under-prepared I would really be at theology, but that's curable.

No, my problem is not that.

I don't know whether I can explain it. "Where 2 or 3 are gathered together, there I AM" is true, but not sufficient. Fellowship is beautiful, but it is not enough.

The church is more than all that, and it is mandatory. The church is a complex, unworkable mashup of personalities, the flesh, the Spirit and chemistry. It is untidy and often painful. And it is the most beautiful thing the Lord ever created. More beautiful than the earth, the nebulae, art, theology, or even people.

The creation can only reflect the beauty of God. The church can display His many-faceted Wisdom. The church can inspire the King to song.

Teaching is a necessary part of church, but it is church that I want.

Does that make sense?

Milly said...

The church is more than all that, and it is mandatory. The church is a complex, unworkable mashup of personalities, the flesh, the Spirit and chemistry. It is untidy and often painful. And it is the most beautiful thing the Lord ever created. More beautiful than the earth, the nebulae, art, theology, or even people.

The creation can only reflect the beauty of God. The church can display His many-faceted Wisdom. The church can inspire the King to song.

Teaching is a necessary part of church, but it is church that I want.

Does that make sense?

Yes it does. IT so does. I'm glad for those words.

Milly said...

Codepoke,

I've dated divorced men. One left me to see if he could go it again.She left him. They had a beautiful little girl. It's very hard, you aren't alone in taking it hard.

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