Monday, August 10, 2009

Busting up the Concrete ... Adam and Shawn in Dialogue #5 ...



Click here to visit Adam's Blog at adamkilner.blogspot.com

Adam,


There is no need to explain where the idea came from for Apocalyptic Welcome - take credit for coming up with a great image and an even better word and entrust it into the cosmos to help ALL of us understand it better through practical experience ...

I like the image you offer of the politicial machinations of the bureacracy we call the Church and how Bandy identifies the tendency within that bureacracy to chew up and spit out new leaders who fail to conform to the corporate entity that is The Modern Church.


I appreciate your observation of living the welcome as nothing more than scratching the concrete. To that I offer a hearty AMEN !!


We have to stop shuffling the deck chairs to get a better view of the iceberg that has mortally wounded the Titanic we stand on ... we have to stop scraping and repainting the concrete in a vain attempt to make things better ... we need to embrace the radical (radical is to be understood as a return to the fundamentals of faith) notion of breaking through the concrete structures that surround us, and create something new in the ruins that result ...


Instead, we stand in a place of FEAR ... paralysis has set in, and we (speaking collectively of The Church) fail to act because it might offend someone, it might ruffle some feathers, it might cause someone to leave ... MY GAWD - when did the church become such a wimpy apologetic institution???


Jesus revelled in offending people, he lived for ruffling feathers, and he wasn't afraid to drive someone out ... look at his visit to the Temple ... Jesus was anything BUT apologetic. He stood solidly on the Word of God and uttered Truth.


The truth that is Jesus Christ is a non-negotiable, and it is an anathema to say it in the modern Church, but it is also offensive to the status quo ... the Word of God - the Truth of Christ is about all that you expressed AND it is that apocalyptic welcome that brings ALL of humanity together without boundaries, conditions, or any terms of reference. The Truth of Christ is not about interpretation - it is about LIVING it ...


The failure to LIVE the Truth rest solely with the leadership of the Church. The leadership has failed to take chances ... they have failed to break thru the concrete barriers that are keeping the MAJORITY of people out ... we say the right words, but I go back to the observation of my personal experience and I put it bluntly - " if the United Church of Canada is the INCLUSIVE entity it believes itself to be, if the United Church of Canada is EVEN close to living an apocalyptic welcome, why then I am I left standing OUTSIDE staring in ????? IF we are truly inclusive there should be a place to make me feel welcome, and after the last three years of journeying in the United Church, I feel ANYTHING (and everything) BUT welcomed ..."


An inclusive, open and welcoming church doesn't set conditions on those entering through its doors ... that's a non-negotiable ...


An inclusive, open and welcoming church doesn't BLAME the wounded one who has been abused by others in the church, and DEMAND of them changes that they themselves are unwilling to make ...


An inclusive, open and welcoming church CALLS everyone to live up to the standards of faith, not just a select few ... if the Minister is called to account for thier misdeeds, then the Chair of the Board, the Choir Director, and the members of the Board are equally culpable and should be called to task too ...


An inclusive, open and welcoming church embraces and welcomes the transformation that follows the pruning and burning off promised repeatedly through the Scriptures ...


An inclusive, open and welcoming church is a prophetic voice that doesn't offer a warm pink fuzzy hug and pretend THAT's being faithful ...


In my opinion, from the journey I've trod, the UCC has a LONG way to go ...

2 comments:

Adam said...

I loved this quote from you:

"The truth that is Jesus Christ is a non-negotiable, and it is an anathema to say it in the modern Church, but it is also offensive to the status quo ..."

You don't know how often I pray to Jesus to tell him that I hate him - only because he refuses to bend to my will, and commands me to be formed into his.

Anonymous said...

No offense, honestly, but is this what has become of your blog? What used to be a bright, welcoming spot to stop that offered variety and laughter and the trials of daily life, has turned to this... I just would have thought all this dialogue would have been better suited to Meditative Moments....