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|shroudofrain (profile) wrote, |
on 1-25-2009 at 1:00pm
|Current mood: enthralled
Music: My Savior My God: Aaron Shust / Go (I wana send you): Newsboys
Subject: [Church name under construction]
|Part of the fruit of the spirit is to have patients. It's to wait and not only see what God is going to do, but it's to wait and see what's in your heart for the works of God himself.
Patients, this part of the spirit is something I've always had since I can remember... except now.
It's hard to wait for something that you are not only wanting to do with all your heart, but to do something that you feel God is calling you to do to spread his love to the nations.
I know I need to be patient, and I will, but it's just so hard when I have this vision of what must be accomplished not only for God, but for community's sake... wherever that may be.
I want to make a church that cannot be contained in a building, within a physical infrastructure or on a physical location.
I want to make a church that breaks down, to the core, what church should be: A community of people that meet together to fellowship with each other, learn, and grow spiritually and physically under the banner and love of Christ Jesus.
What church has become today is a place built on worship of a God that is hard to understand, lives to condemn, and wants you to be perfect to receive his attention, approval, and love.
This is sick. This is not what Jesus intended at all; this was not our example, in the book of Acts, of how a church should function, grow, and affect the community.
I want to create a community that does nothing but grow, expand, and deepen the love of God to anyone that chooses to accept it... who may or may not accept Christ himself, his love then.
We serve a God that we already have approval from, whom we already have love from, and whom we already have attention from. So why do we, as followers of Christ, act like we don't? Why do we perpetuate the idea that we need to ask for it?
Why do we ask to bless food when it's already blessed by God, because it came from the Earth, and the Earth was created by God himself?
Why do we treat God like he didn't commit suicide to save us from sins punishable by death... which is any sin really.
You break one commandment and you break them all, so in all seriousness we are all murderers, we are all rapists, we are all honoring other Gods... but we are forgiven from all of this... so why does the church insist in proclaiming that not only we are not, but also that we must be perfect to achieve reward from God in Heaven?
Why are we following the phrases when Jesus himself called them "Sons of Hell?"
Church must be evangelistic, to it's inner structure; it should be a place where people can not only come HOW they are... but WHERE they are in life/in their walk with God/in their life with themselves and others.
Church must be a servant of the community in ANY way that it can be, and it should not just be one church organization over another, but in conjunction with other church groups. The church down the street and the church out in the middle of nowhere and the church downtown should work together for the good of the community, despite their differences of what color the carpet in the sanctuary should be or if you should drink alcohol or nix all forms of alcohol from any type of consumption in your life completely.
That is ridiculousness... and pretty much sad.
Not only that, but it also causes others that don't believe in Christ to see the ridiculousness and have the ability to ask, "Do I really want to be apart of that?"
It turns people away from what is most important, and it's important because it gives hope for your life and it gives you the ability to say, "I don't have everything together, but it doesn't matter, because I have hope, love, and assurance in my life."
How many people can say that now, today, with how things are going in the world? How many people can say that they don't need things in their life to make them happy, because they have joy, and that's all they need?
How many people can look at their life and say, "I don't need anything else."
People may paint with a broad brush what Church is... and to an extent, they are right.
However, I feel it is partly my obligation as a follower of Christ to take that brush and attempt to brake it... or at least have it find a place that it can't paint.
My vision... or I should say God's vision for my life and my future is to bring life back to any given community. To plant not a church, but love into a community and let the roots take hold of the area and not let go.
This vision is more than what I can explain with words.
It's taking all I get in offering and tithe and splitting it down the middle: Half of what I take in, I give out to the community, and the reason for this comes from the greatest commandment that Jesus told us: "Love your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself."
"...love your neighbor as yourself." If we loved our neighbors as ourselves, wouldn't we feed them just as much we do us? Would we cloth them just as much as we do our own bodies? Wouldn't we spend just as much money on them as we would on ourselves? What would that look like? What kind of effect would that have on any given community if people, or a church had that mentality?
This vision of what I am describing is more than anything I can explain... it has to be shown, because it's going to be a movement that will take hold of anyone that notices and wonders about it.
This is not my vision just as well as the moon is yours, or anyone's. This vision is owned, breathed, fixated, and motivated by, from, on, and through Jesus Christ, the son of God the Father, and giver of the Holy Spirit, who died on the cross to our sin, and rose again for our salvation.
Now don't get me wrong: I do not claim to know exactly what God wants, and I know it sounds like I'm painting church myself with a broad brush, but I assure you I am not. I am apart of a church that is doing just his right now as I write this, called Real Life Church in Spring Lake, North Carolina, and I am fully aware that there are other churches that are doing this as well... and then some. However, I am speaking for and to those who have this preconceived notion of what church is, and the churches that have proved these notions with judgmental colors.
People see church this way, and it's for a reason, and I'm looking to paint a different picture of church starting years from now.
My generation/Our generation is the one that is more spiritual than their parents in over 150 years in America alone. What we are spiritual about is another story, but constantly I see teenagers of my generation and younger going to church not because their parents go or make them... but because they want to. Because they are searching, and because they want more and know there has to be more out there.
Times are changing, people are growing, ideas are blossoming, and we need to act accordingly.
There are people that need help, there are people that need much, there is a looming fear of everything crashing down again in terms of society, and there's this ideal that is spreading around. The ideal that there is more than just what we see, the ideal that love is more of an act than a feeling. The ideal... that community may be all of what some have to any extent of the imagination.
What will you do in this day and age? Will you paint a broad brush over all you see and give in to giving up hope in church... if there was any? Or will you take up a different brush, a brush that is easy, and it's paint is kind. A brush that will bring burden, but a brush and paint that will ensure you assurance through the rough surfaces of the canvas?
May you love your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength... and may you love your neighbor as you love yourself.
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