Tag: church

January 16, 2012 / / Uncategorized

The beauty of days in which we recognize icon’s like Martin Luther King, Jr. and the movement he represents is that it offers us the perspective of just how far we’ve come, and it is a solemn reminder of where we once were.

I have recently observed a number of scenarios that have caused me to question what Christian equality truly looks like and what our collective next step must be.  What better setting to offer these reflections than the holiday dedicated to a man who championed the “content of character” as a person’s value rather than the color of their skin.  This was truly a man who envisioned a community in which “all flesh” see things together.  I thank God that I have grown up in a world that stepped beyond the tragedies of segregation and mass, racial injustice.  My lifetime has not known appearance as a perquisite.  My classrooms, locker rooms, universities, teams, and social settings have always been painted with a beautiful spectrum of diversity, worlds apart from where America could be found on the eve of King’s 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech.

A host of courageous leaders pioneered a movement for equality in that decade.  But that was the need for that decade.  That was the necessary step toward true equality in that day.  I look around and ask, What must be ours?

January 10, 2012 / / Uncategorized

In a recent class which primarily engaged the theology of mission, I was asked to submit a final statement regarding my own personal theology of mission.  The full version is a bit longer, but in light of my recent thoughts about the church’s role in the world, I found myself returning to the conclusion of my statement.  It is by no means comprehensive, but I am both encouraged and greatly challenged by where I ended in writing this.  May it provide the same for you:

The Church

If I know anything, it is that mission does not begin or end with the church.  Yet, here the church stands in the peculiar position of being called and at the same time unnecessary. Called, in that it has been given a mission, a purpose, an assigned task; Unnecessary in that we must confess that the work of God is in no way limited to the church’s participation, ability, or faithfulness.  Nevertheless, God’s abundant power must surely not nullify the reality that scripture reveals His propensity to use the ordinary and unexpected to display his power on earth.

If mission is an assigned task or a calling, then I find the mission of the church to be relatively clear.  In his people, God is making himself known.  In this way, the church becomes the embodiment of the mysterious kingdom of God, the display of His ways and His character…

January 7, 2012 / / Uncategorized
churches can be ugly.


The Church is Ugly, and I love it.

I was reminded this week on several occasions just how dirty, ugly, and messed up churches can become. Fortunately, each of these examples was closely followed by the powerful role that churches and ministers play in the lives of congregations across the world.  The Church, more broadly, can be equally condemned.  It’s no surprise that my peers often reject it, that large numbers of people who consider themselves followers of Jesus do not consider church as a part of their life.  It’s no surprise that many families found attending church on Christmas day this year to be cumbersome, obligatory, or unnecessary.  It’s not breaking news that the church has long lost it’s place of privilege in the world, and with that has disappeared the sanctity of the body of Christ and the believer’s likelihood of loving it.

Yes, churches fight, argue, split, and have some less than commendable people.  As one of my mentors put it, “every church has some jerks.”  So, why bother?  I hold a very high view of the role of the local church in my own theology.  As a minister in a local church, and a seminary student, I find myself inescapably tied to it.  And let’s be honest, that isn’t always pretty. I don’t always like it. And sometimes I look around at the public perception of ministers and cringe.  But the reality it is: No matter how ugly the church may be, I am called to love  it.