Friday, June 13, 2008

When Did That Start?


Summer greetings to you all. As the days get longer, and certainly hotter, I hope this finds you healthy and at peace with yourself. This is my pre-vacation post, as I’ll be heading for the hills (literally) to spend a couple weeks relaxing with the family.

I just started reading a book that peaked my interest and I can tell by just the introduction that I’m going to like it. It’s called “Pagan Christianity” , and it’s written by Fank Viola and George Barna. It’s a look at why the modern church does what it does – where did all those traditions come from anyway? Not surprising to me, the book lays out that many of our Christian traditions come from pagan rituals and not directives from God or Jesus. My suspicion is that this very tendency of man to “institute” forms and rituals and ascribe them to God may be at the root of them impotency of today’s church.

Listen to Barna describe what he calls a “revolution” of people leaving organized religion seeking more of God:

“…they are seeking more of God. They have a passion to be faithful to His Word and to be more in tune with His leading. They ardently want their relationship with the Lord to be their top priority in their life. They are tired of the institutions, denominations, and routines getting in the way of a resonant connection with Him. They are worn out on the endless programs that fail to facilitate transformation. They are weary of being sent off to complete assignments, memorize facts and passages, and engage in simplistic practices that do not draw them into God’s presence.

These are people who have experienced the initial realities of a genuine connection with God. They can no longer endure the spiritual teasing offered by churches and other well-intentioned ministries. God is waiting for them. They want Him. No more excuses.”


Does any of that sound familiar to you? I know people that fit that description to a tee. Should be an interesting read anyway. I’d love to hear from you about your experience with the forms and traditions that you currently experience or have experienced. Ask yourself if you know why those things take place on a regular basis, when did that start?

I am thankful to be with a group of believers right now who are tired of doing things just because “we’ve always done it that way”. Ironically, moving in that direction often leads to more questions than it does answers, and most people are looking for answers. I’m learning to be comfortable with the questions, after all, who really has the answers when it comes to God?


Peace……

2 Comments:

At 10:04 PM, Blogger J. R. Miller said...

Hi, if you are interested, I am posting a 5 part interview with both George Barna and Frank Viola. Please feel free to pass the word and share your thoughts.

 
At 1:00 PM, Blogger Chris said...

While I don't know where most of our traditions come from (but I would LIKE to know), I think people get comfortable with the traditions they know - it's easy and familiar. Unfortunately, this too often becomes our "experience" of God or our holy time. I'm glad that more and more people are looking for more experiences of God, outside of tradition.

It's also unfortunate that the church frequently sees this as a threat. Unmonitored, uncontrolled, uncensored, ooohhhh - scary!

It does raise more questions though - because it's new territory for most. I think, if we are patient enough to rest, or brave enough to explore, God will meet us wherever we are - and what a wonderful thing! How many doors might He open, how many NEW things might we learn about Him if we would step outside of tradition, outside of "we've always done it this way" to experience Him in new ways.

 

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