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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Doomed!


By our usual objectives for this blog, doomed would not be considered a good word. Generally we try to tell positive, encouraging, good news stories that will inspire people to want their lives or congregations to achieve their purpose. And yet, perhaps that is exactly what this "good word" may do for some.

The inspiration for using doomed as a good word comes from Jan Edmiston in her blog A Church for Starving Artists. I encourage you to click on the link and read what she has to say. It would also be worth your while to subscribe and follow her blog. For those who will not or cannot follow the link, the following is how Pastor Jan used the word "Doomed."
Churches that love their (fill in the blank) more than they love Jesus are doomed. Some of them know they are doomed and don’t care. Some of them pretend like it’s okay to love their windows, organs, communion tables, strawberry festival more than God.
I must admit that I was a little shocked by Pastor Jan's candor, not only in this statement but in several of those that follow. I would not argue with anything she said, but it is unusual to have anyone speak with such frankness and honesty. Most of us try to be diplomatic in our observations. Still, that approach seldom results in the dramatic changes that are needed, does it?

Churches that love their ____________ (fill in: routines, history, practices, beliefs, traditions, preferences, peace and quite, etc.) more than they love Jesus ARE doomed. Jesus did not sit around the synagogue in his day gently teaching and hoping the congregation would one day "get it." Instead, he left there and went out into the cities, towns and villages where the common people were, and sought to bring the hope of the Kingdom of God to them.

Similarly today, God's Spirit is not idly sitting around the churches hoping the congregations will "get it." God's Spirit is out in the homes and streets of the neighbourhoods in response to people's needs and prayers. Churches that will not understand that, or are not prepared to follow the Spirit there, are doomed to be left behind. As Alan Roxburgh would say, we need to get outside the walls of the church and see what God is up to in the towns and cities where we live, then ask how we can help.

Not everyone is ready to learn about Jesus, but some people certainly are. Many people do not know what it is they long for, and they would be very unlikely to go into a church to look for it. Such people are what Jesus refers to as his lost sheep. As we are taught in the parables, people that love Jesus need to be willing to go out and find them.

Posted by Carman

3 comments:

  1. i keep thinking about this blog post, Carman...

    "Churches that love their (fill in the blank) more than they love Jesus are doomed."

    this is a pretty bold pronouncement but really quite true... at least from what i have seen and do see.

    i think we are on the right path with the mission initiatives, as long as we embrace them and weave them into the fabric of our daily, as well as our sunday, lives... the mission of Jesus is what matters most... i read that somewhere!

    may we embrace Jesus, and his mission, and move on to a certain future.

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  2. John, I thought quite a while before I finally released this post. I am still somewhat unsettled about it, but decided to put it out for consideration and conversation. I do think God's Spirit is way ahead of us in reaching out to the communities where we live. My conclusion is that we are doomed to be left behind if we do not respond, but not condemned.

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  3. ROFLOL!

    i still fully believe that God's grace covers us individually and collectively. if we choose to be left behind though, i believe that it will happen.

    it took me a couple of days to respond because i really needed to roll this post over in my mind.

    we may be doomed to be left behind but the love of God covers all... at least from my standpoint!

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