Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Theology I REJECT:

We all know the nursery rhyme about Little Jack Horner:

Little Jack Horner sat in a corner,
eating his Christmas Pie.
He put in his thumb and pulled out a plum,
and said "what a good boy am I!"
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Sadly, this little childrens' ditty, has become symptomatic of the dominant theology of Mainstream churches today, even as they go through the motions of trying to reach out to those who have, for a diversity of reasons, walked away from them ...
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The church is blithely sitting in its corner eating its version of Christmas Pie and delighting in the selfishness that has taken hold and prevented it from seeing past the so-called "plum" it is happily holding aloft for all to see ... not that any one is looking ...
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The evidence of this theological delusion comes from the words of Martin Luther King himself who in 1963 said eloquently from a jail cell in Birmingham Alabama:
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There was a time when the church was very powerful--in the time when the early Christians rejoiced at being deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed. In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society. Whenever the early Christians entered a town, the people in power became disturbed and immediately sought to convict the Christians for being "disturbers of the peace" and "outside agitators."' But the Christians pressed on, in the conviction that they were "a colony of heaven," called to obey God rather than man. Small in number, they were big in commitment. They were too God-intoxicated to be "astronomically intimidated." By their effort and example they brought an end to such ancient evils as infanticide and gladiatorial contests. Things are different now. So often the contemporary church is a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound. So often it is an archdefender of the status quo. Far from being disturbed by the presence of the church, the power structure of the average community is consoled by the church's silent--and often even vocal--sanction of things as they are.
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But the judgment of God is upon the church as never before. If today's church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century. Every day I meet young people whose disappointment with the church has turned into outright disgust.
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I openly reject the Church of Jack Horner that ignores the need for change ... and instead blames the "outsiders," "the agitators," and dubs people like me who can see a better way of doing things as "troublemakers," and the other phrases cited in the previous posting ...
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I reject the Church that values the way things are (the status quo) MORE than spiritual growth and ensures everything is okay with lawyers rather than making sure it is okay with our faith ...
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I reject the Church that values niceness and complacency over action and faith ...
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I reject the Church that sits rubbing its hands together in distress and does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to address the problems that are gripping it ...
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In short, I reject the Church the way it is ...
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For too long the agenda has been set by people for whom the Church is a bobble to show "what a good boy am I" rather than a spiritual reality that engages in life affirming change in our world ... For too long the immature have set the agenda and bullied the rest of us into silence ... and as a result the Church has been slowly dying ...
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Today we start to live ... Today the Church reclaims the action of faith that lives change and transformation rather than sitting idly hoping things will get better all by themselves ...
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And it begins by living our faith ... and I can't think of a better image than the one below with Rabbi Abraham Heschel and Rev. Martin Luther King standing in solidarity with each other ...
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The Non-Jack Horner Church will NEVER be afraid to live its faith and to confront those who want to maintain the status quo ... the status quo MUST change ... and it will ...

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We can thwart many things - but we can NEVER thwart the Spirit ... waiting is no longer an option ... it's time to claim back OUR church from the unfaithful leadership who have done nothing to move past the toxic complacency that keeps them planted in their corner proudly prodding their pie and doing nothing constructive ...

1 comment:

MY OWN WOMAN... said...

This post gave me goose bumps. You WILL make a difference. Your voice is already being heard by some and your light will surely illuminate the darkness. Your words already make a difference in my life.