Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Some more "church" talk!

It's interesting to see people spending a lot of time and energy to debate, discuss and figure out whether we should attend institutionalized churches or "house churches". How did a institutionalized church become institutionalized? Was it because it was in a special building? Or was it because people implemented their agendas, knowledge of half truths, ideas, personal preferences, rituals, falsehood etc? If so, how much it takes to have a "house church" institutionalized? It wouldn't take much. It's even easier because you have more 'control' there.

Some people all of a sudden get influenced by a "liberal demon" and jump from Presbyterian to Wynyard or Emergent and think that they are 'free' now. They aren't. The only difference is now they are thinking the Emergent church is "the" church or the Wynyard is "the" church (BTW, I have nothing against any of these organizations in particular). None of these are churches, there are merely some organizations. And yes, there are people under those roofs who are truly part of the invisible, universal, ever growing church of Jesus Christ.

None of these "movements" are going to resolve anything. Doesn't matter how frustrated you were when you were in the Baptist church and how "happy" you are in the Pentecostal church. The happiness we get when we jump from one building to another is not really the happiness God supplies. It is just the happiness coming from a sense of adventure, that you think that you are doing something "different" - like bungee jumping.

The REAL adventure is not jumping from one church to another. The real adventure is losing all our securities, which includes people-provided, church-provided, community-provided, clergy-provided and doctrine-provided securities and abandon ourselves into the hands of a perfectly loving God and hang in there, see what HE does in our life. That to me is adventurous.

The more we talk about "church", it shows how less we care about the "Head". The moment people come to know that I am a Christian, the next question is where do I go to church. Give me a break! My wife lies to people that we attend a non-denominational church just to avoid further questions. And I am teaching her to tell the truth! And she says she doesn't know how to give a proper answer why as Christians we do not park our bodies in a building on Sundays. I see her point because it isn't that easy to explain.

I want to stop jumping from one building to another building, because when I do it, all I am thinking is about the building. What can it offer to me? I am thinking about ME. I love ME! I love the fact that when I have flood in my basement there is a church member dispatched by the pastor to help me drain water. But now I am obliged to do the same thing when he has a flood. That's not selfless love. That's people working for each other. They are just not paying any monetary wages, instead they pay with their work. For doing the dispatching pastor gets his pay check. So, where is love in the whole deal?

Paul said: Love is not self-seeking.

I think love is not love if it's not selfless. That is the problem of building-bound spirituality, it is almost impossible to extend and receive selfless love while we are bombarded with building issues - how to maintain it, how to grow it, how to beatify it, how to make it more marketable etc.

I have criticized the 'building' I left but I think the issue was that I didn't really know the love of Christ the way I know it today (I am not claiming I know it fully, I will never know until I see him face to face). It was more of a intellectual understanding of that particular church's doctrines. I wasn't really free! It was my own struggle while I was still bound.

I thought moving the "worship" from that building to my home would change everything. It changes nothing! You move your bondage from a special building to a "house church" thinking that you are very trendy and adventurous, I am telling you it changes nothing. What changes us is the truth. The truth that Jesus loves us regardless of whether we are sleeping in the comfort of our bed on Sunday morning or we are sitting in a pew. It is the love what transforms us, not our changing of parking places.

As we get hold of this love, the "building" becomes a nonissue. The temptation to criticize all the "churches" subsides. Our focus changes. The source of our joy is no more depended on the beauty of the songs sung by the choir. And since it comes from the right source, it stays, it's consistent and we know it's priceless. No buildings can ever give us this, only Jesus can.

6 comments:

Amy said...

Bino,
As I believe you know, I fully agree with you with what you've written here. As I was thinking throughout reading, "Amen, amen, amen!"

I loved what you said here: "The real adventure is losing all our securities, which includes people-provided, church-provided, community-provided, clergy-provided and doctrine-provided securities and abandon ourselves into the hands of a perfectly loving God and hang in there, see what HE does in our life. That to me is adventurous."

"I thought moving the "worship" from that building to my home would change everything. It changes nothing! You move your bondage from a special building to a "house church" thinking that you are very trendy and adventurous, I am telling you it changes nothing. What changes us is the truth. The truth that Jesus loves us regardless of whether we are sleeping in the comfort of our bed on Sunday morning or we are sitting in a pew. It is the love what transforms us, not our changing of parking places."

Excellent!

Blessings,
~Amy :)

RJW said...

You are a wise man...the love of God shed abroad in our hearts will deal with those issues; we love and share Grace whatever our circumstance.

Thank you for your boldness in speaking truth in love; I receive it.

Christ will will and work His purpose in His body through His Spirit; we just get the wonderful benefits- the fruit of the Spirit: peace, joy, love, kindness, etc.

Thank you for blessing me today. :)

Bino M. said...

Amy & RJW,
Thanks!

Leonard said...

Thanks for sharing this, I was trying to come up with some witty encouragement but read it again and decided you already have an encourager.

Looking forward to being in the place you described in last paragraph.

Best
Leonard

Aida said...

"What changes us is the truth."

I really enjoyed this post, Bino. Thanks for speaking truth to us.

Bino M. said...

Leonard,
You too like the vine & branch metaphor, huh? I like the title you chose for your blog. Thanks for sharing!

Aida,
Thanks!