The Lord meets us where we are and then takes us to where we need to be. Sometimes the going gets tough, but take heart – power is perfected in weakness!
Most of my progress comes through resting in Him. As someone has said, rest is a weapon. But it’s funny how the simplest things are the most difficult for us to grasp. That’s why we’re confronted with the paradox of striving to enter His rest!
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Jesus is Lord!
Behold, I will allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her. -Hos 2.14
To keep it simple, I’m good with all expressions of orthodox Christianity, such as the Apostle’s Creed, the Nicene Creed, the Assemblies of God Truths (pdf), and probably a whole lot of the other confessions, were I to read them. (BTW, lots of good info at the Creeds site.)
I also like the very simple statement of beliefs , which perhaps originated at Calvary Chapel. Notable from it is this line:
We believe that the only true basis of Christian fellowship is Christ’s love, without which we have no right to claim ourselves Christians.
Here you’ll see that I’m a bit of a whack job. After getting nearly destroyed by my first church, I’ve had a difficult time trusting any church again. What’s more, I think that’s a healthy thing to an extent. Too many people get real comfortable at their church – which is supremely easy to do if you fit in with a Body – and miss the uncomfortable disciplines of God. Isaiah states repetitively, Cursed is the man who trusts in man.
But even if I hadn’t been burned, I think something is terribly wrong with the monarchical/entrepreneurial/corporation model of the Western church. I cannot reconcile it to the original expression of the church that overturned the earth is such a short period of time.
That church met in the temple and daily house-to-house, we are told in Acts 2.41ff. But then the Stephen persecution removed the temple gathering from that equation. What does that leave you?
That’s basically how I see it. Real, intimate relationships, functional leaders who eschew positional titles and authority (Mt 23), interactive conversations in the Word. The building becomes irrelevant, as does the IRS tax deduction.
I simply cannot sit through a typical 40 minute one-way sermon any longer. I don’t think church is supposed to be an audience affair, and I don’t think the pastor is supposed to be a star.
If that appeals to you or intrigues you I recommend reading Neil Cole’s Organic Church.