Monday, May 4, 2009

The Church in Captivity

The more I journey in the great mystery called the church the more I realize how significantly we are in captivity. A few months ago I read a book by Rob Bell and Dan Golden which highlighted the church in America today as a church in exile. I am coming to believe it is much worse than exile, that we are in captivity to ourselves. We are trapped in patterns which keep us from experiencing God, and we like it that way.

This has nothing to do with style of worship. This has nothing to do with be modern or postmodern, this is not about emerging church or missional church. This is about the people of God living in such a way that creates greater distance between humanity and God. No matter what the style or label which can be applied to the particular church you are a part of the danger of captivity lurks. We as humanity become captive to the ways we prefer things to be done. We become captive to the ways we have always done it. We become captive to the human agenda.

This is not how we are called to live as Christ followers. We have been liberated from captivity to human agenda. We have been set free to experience a close relationship with God as God hopes for us. The single greatest call of the church is to be the working community of people who are living the Kingdom of God. This means we are not ruled by human thoughts we are ruled by the thoughts, live and example of Jesus.

Alas we remain captive. The Good News is we do not have to remain captive. It won't be easy. The Israelite Exodus was not easy. Still there is a way out of captivity and it happens only when we trust and follow God more that ourselves. When we allow God to be the ruler of the Kingdom, not humanity. "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free, stand firm and do not let yourselves be burdened again by the yoke of slavery."(Galatians 5:1).

I cannot help wonder what would happen if the church began to be a community of freedom in Christ rather than in captivity to itself?

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