Tuesday, March 08, 2005

This Morning

This morning I got up a bit too early, then went to my usual prayer breakfast. It's kind of an interesting thing. It's just me and some older guys. We start out by singing a few hymns/crusader songs (the book actually says "Crusader Songs"), someone gives a talk, then someone closes in prayer. I have no idea why anyone would call that a prayer breakfast. A breakfast yes, but a prayer breakfast, no.

All right, so the best chapter of Generous Orthodoxy is 5, "Why I Am Missional". In that chapter his description of the modern evangelical church is right on:

In this diagram, my largest concern is me, my soul, my personal destiny in heaven, my maturity, and my rewards. Occasionally, after "winning" people based
on personal self-interest, churches can entice people to care a little
about the church-- but is it any surprise that people "won to Christ" by
self-interest come to the church asking, "What's in it for me?"

Is it any surprise that with this understanding of salvation, churches tend to
become gatherings of self-interest-- constantly treating the church as a
purveyor of religious goods and services, constantly shopping and "trading up" for
churches that can "meet my needs" better? Is it any surprise that it's stinking hard to convince churches that they have a mission to the world when most Christians equate "personal salvation" of individuals "souls" with the ultimate aim of Jesus? Is it any wonder that people feel like victims of a bait a switch when they're lured with
personal salvation and then hooked with church commitment and world
(A Generous Orthodoxy, p. 107)

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