Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Trust and strays, by Tom Letts
So, so sorry to miss the last post (more internet connection issues!).
As I reflected in the last post, 'Among the biggest changes in the living out of faith in our communities are issues surrounding trust and authority.' There are, in Anchorage, two kinds of people: 'church people' and 'not church people.' Most of the time these two don't understand or trust each other.
Remember, I've spent this summer involved in the National Assembly's 'Evangelism and Church Growth, Committee 15' and then off to the denomination's Academy for Missional Preaching, followed by a visit to the Evangelism Department of Fuller Seminary. Everything I'm hearing and reading from these three places leads to the same place: those of us who follow Jesus face challenges in our 'post-christendom, post-modern, secularized, pluralist world' that require a vast reworking of our theology, practice, words and deeds.
Here are the seven main sticking points for the people we work, school and play with (do you have one to add?): 1-Christians are judgmental, 2-Christians are hyper-patriots who support war (God, guts and guns made this country great!), 3-Christians are anti-intellectual/anti-science (the world is 5,000 years old, evolution is wrong, God got a virgin pregnant, and later, came back from the dead...), 4-Christians are hypocrites (they are all about morality but have affairs and get divorced as much or more than the rest of us), 5- Christians are bigoted homophobes, 6-priests are pedophiles, 7-ministers are only in it for the money (well, I'M in it for the cool, black robe...).
Now, one thing is clear to me in all of this. The days of being a lukewarm 'Christian' are fast coming to and end! I believe we were born in this era on purpose. I believe God has much to communicate to our precious neighbors. I believe that we have come to the point where our faith must become deeper, more real, and more powerful in its expression as we follow our Lord, carrying our crosses. Read Luke 14:25-33 and we'll talk.
More tomorrow. Peace, tl