Monday, June 14, 2010

Where Are They?

Every once in a while I get a message from someone who is intrested in knowing more about what it means to be an ungrafted church. They've caught my webzine, most likely the "501c3 Q & A" page, and have more questions or are simply concerned about being incorporated.

As I thought, I wondered, how many such people look at my blog to see what kinds of things I'm saying about being ungrafted? And are they trying to get cues from the many times I've gone out and consulted people about what it takes to move on establishing a vibrant assembly that is not tied to Caesar?

And then I thought, hmm. They aren't going to find any such scintillating narratives here. Not that I don't want to fill this blog with them. I do. It is just

They aren't happening.

I have indeed offered my services to do some consulting about these matters, but no one has requested them. That is likely because very few see that I'm here. But I think the main reason is more harrowing.

It is because there are so few who really have any desire to get out of their Catholicist swamp.

I have introduced the idea of being ungrafted to many pastors. It's not that they've responded by telling me to take a hike -- they've responded by saying nothing at all. Dozens of pastors, some of whom are my good friends, are completely silent. Even after the most graciously respectful request that they give me their honest no-cost take, I hear nothing. It's like a disease.

Well, it is. It's the disease of being hopelessly obligated to the World. Please know that's not a bad thing. The Ministry of Condemnation is a good thing. There must be condemnation and the force of the law to crack heads. These pastors get paid big bucks to do Caesar's work. Perfectly rational behavior, really. No wonder they all think I'm speaking gibberish.

I'm nobody anyway. I'm nobody but someone who reads Christ's words and wants to do them. Someone who just wants to be thoroughly immersed in the ministry of reconciliation, with the wildest abandon possible. I confess I don't do it all perfectly, but I pray constantly that I never use that as an excuse.

And that God would do a miracle in my life to make me wholly ungrafted as much as I look for it among others.

I'm convinced that can't happen for me in a vacuum. I must be around others doing it. So yeah, right here, if you're reading this blog to get some grand wisdom to make all things happy happy happy in your worship community, all I can give you is this: That the church of Christ needs faithful people. Jesus had 72 guys to send out, two by two, and they radically transformed everything they touched.

Where are those people today?

So if you're reading this blog right now, I urge you to simply do what Scripture says to do. That's where the instructions are. Look at the fourth chapter of Galatians. Read that and tell me we can really keep making the excuse that our churches have to keep being 501c3's just because that's the way it has to be, and still think that God is pleased with our puny efforts to transform the world.

If you still want to get any remotely thoughtful remarks from this writing effort, go back and look again at some of what I've put down. I do lay out the case that the World is woefully lacking, simply that some may turn and see the Kingdom and His glory in it. It is a challenge, I try to be detailed but still engaging. Simply look at the last three blog posts I made, there at the end of May.

My "wishes."

All I say there is that I'm no Solomon, but it'd be nice if we got together and moved forward on doing what God asks us to do. Want to do that with me? I'd be happy to talk with you.

And FYI, I put together a whole webpage with some pretty basic ideas about what to do to be ungrafted as a worship community. That page is here.