Tuesday, December 07, 2010

A Vision for the Church


Elaine Heath describes the current state of the church in the US as being in a "dark night of the soul." She says there is no guaranty that we will come out of the dark night any better. And while I agree that there is no guaranty, I am very hopeful of the things to come for the church in North America because of men and women, who, like me, are fed up with the churches status quo and yet are passionately in love with Jesus. I believe it is precisely this dark night that is raising up men and women across the country that say no to legalistic and judgmental expressions of Christ’s church. These people will say yes to making space for Christ to lead His Church the way that He so chooses. These people will go into the dark places of the world armed with love in one hand and peace in the other, befriending the spiritually hurting, dirty and dying. The love of Christ will be so obvious among these lost people that they will find themselves falling in love with Him as they participate in His work even before they believe in Him. Authentic families of Jesus will be raised up from out of the mud and the mire and they will truly look like the people of God. They will be radical. They will be holy. They will look a lot like Jesus. And this world will never be the same.

7 comments:

Jared said...

it's a good read.

Jordan Taylor Bunch said...

I just got done reading The Forgotten Ways... it may turn out to be a series of 100 blog posts... Extremely helpful tool

Robert said...

I love this vision, it is Prophetic. (seriously...not ironically, not cynically.....this is a beautiful near-future-vision.)

But it is demonstrative and actionable and catalytic.

Not contemplative.

Robert said...

and it is more decisive than mystical.

Jared said...

Elaine Heath argues that historically catalytic action grew out of contemplative practice. History -- at least certain periods of history -- seems to be on her side.

Jared said...

The ancient mystics, during certain periods, were often the evangelicals who struggled for evangelism & just community. To separate these often reinforces dualism. I do find that dualism to be common today. The contemplative seems to be overly pious. The action oriented seems to lack thoughtful reflection. this is an over-generalization, but is observable in this generation. Heath is attempting to draw from ancient evangelists who are centered in contemplative practice to seemingly address contemporary dichotomies.

Jordan Taylor Bunch said...

One major example of a movement I see happening now in this generation that is both deeply contemplative and actively engaging in mission and justice is the 24-7prayer.com movement.

I agree with Heath that it is a contemplative movement. It is the time with the Father that form who we are as the people of God, and that move us into mission. But you are also correct Rob, it is absolutely demonstrative, actionable, and catalytic. It takes vision and action together.