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Archive for March 10th, 2009

What exactly is this guy saying?

http://blog.beliefnet.com/jesuscreed/2009/03/re-thinking-mission-in-youth-m.html

I see that the attempt has been made (and it has happened in many places) to deconstruct church. Now he’s feeling stagnation? He cannot tell, are they reconstructing now? What in the world is the narrative? I am so tired of hearing about “story” when referencing God’s word and the actual account of events in the Bible. I think “story” or “narrative” are sloppy ways to describe the events in the Bible when used as many use them lately. Am I just splitting hairs here? And then the quote near the end of the entry…

“Chris Wright in his book,The Mission of God: Unlocking the Bible’s Grand Narrative , refers to as our mission. There, Wright defines it as “our committed participation as God’s people, at God’s invitation and command, in God’s own mission within the history of God’s world for the redemption of God’s creation” (page23). Perhaps this ought to be the bold, bright font placed strategically on our dashboard as the thing we are “trying to do in the first place.”

I just have to say, “huh?” Sometimes people are so deep they loose me, and maybe so deep they drown in their own magnificent depth. Isn’t our “mission” given us by God to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, ” and “Love your neighbor as yourself’ and even “go into all the world and preach the good news” (it’s late, please forgive these partial quotes of scripture, I should do better…

At any rate, anything unclear and rambly looses me right away. Is that definition of mission just a bit weird or fuzzy to you? If you know a bit about the way things are going, sadly, the fuzzy is focused and seems to be leading somewhere. It would be to much to say where…

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I don’t know why, but I still feel a very soft spot in my heart for one particular pastor on staff at my former church. He was like an uncle or something in my mind. I had the utmost respect for him, he was very humble when he spoke. He came across with such compassion. I felt the challenge to act our our faith was a genuine call to do good works to please God. I really do. I do not feel he had a bad intention in his body. He did rely heavily on Rick Warren’s material for much of what he presented in the plan for the church, and knowing what I do now about how scripture was not rightly handled by Rick Warren, I am sad. I know this former pastor saw all these wonderful opportunities to plant churches all over the world. He really has the touch with people. Really does. However, he is in error in endorsing and even promoting Warren’s work. Warren definitely does use the most convenient interpretation of scripture to make his cases, and misquotes or chops scripture up to take his readers where he wants to. Don’t agree with this, and so I believe a great man who is a pastor that has a natural draw is leading people to follow Warren’s plans and could be used more effectively somewhere else…if only he saw the problem. I think a man who doesn’t like conflict (at least it seems so) would never listen to someone who has created it by being bold (namely, well, me). I also think he would never be convinced by online Discernment Ministry. He would need something I am not exactly aware of to convince him of his error. Also, he was starting to bring out some of the bigger guns before we left, and delving deep into missional. Getting sort of dreamy with his speaking. He had a medical problem on a missions trip which affected his brain, so people who think he’s said things in a strange way blame his “trippy” speaking on that. I doubt the medical issues have anything to do with it.

I do think that Paul Washer and others bring up some very good points in that we are NOT worthy at all, we are such terrible sinners. My former pastor, who I have cried over, made similar points in that he would challenge people to get off their seats and actually serve others in the name of Christ. I think we can agree as Christians in the need to always be willing to serve. Just don’t forget to share the gospel and point to Christ in your service. It’s a dramatic testimony to say to someone, “I am a selfish sinner, and therefore would not ever serve you…but Christ loved me and died for my sins….I need Him. Because He saved me I now can love and serve. Sure, I might have served before, maybe. But I now serve because I was served, love because I am loved. I do unto others because of my Savior. It’s a complete message when we serve and share that because of Christ I can serve in love.

I wonder if I will go too far in my critique of my former church? I believe it’s possible I will sin in pride (or have) and in anger. I believe I can be neutralized because of my focus on the sin of leadership. I don’t think everyone should stop watching, or even that I should stop. I just need to always keep things in perspective. If not for Christ, I would be nothing. I am nothing. I am a wretch and even in being right about something, I can easily fall into my wretched ways. Easily.

I really do love my former pastor and if I am right about what I have seen, I wish he would see it for himself. He is the one man that if he did see it, would openly speak from the pulpit and ask his congregation for forgiveness. If he did speak, many would open their eyes and repent.

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Feels like a shunning

I have emailed a few people from our former church including pastors. I knew this would happen, but it’s amazing how silent things are. I have received only a few responses in the past several months. Some people knew why we had left, but didn’t understand or agree. We had been in contact, even on facebook. Haven’t heard back. Any email to a former pastor (not the big lead pastor, I know better than to do that) is met with silence except for one…the former pastor who encouraged our letter. Some people who have no idea from our end of things about our leaving have not replied. Even former members we know who have left have not replied. Still, we do have contact with a few who have remained good friends. Some stay behind and really have been supportive. Some understand what we are saying, may not agree with it all, but do get most of it. Others don’t agree at all and remain friends despite the differences. Mostly though, deafening silence. I’ve had one chide me strongly just after the pastor spoke about us (without mentioning our names) but I think she’s not stable anyway. She nit picked me over pretty hard, and it didn’t seem logical at all given the fact that she is one who claimed to have left Pagitt’s church and saw similar trends in my former church. Had to be something else going on with her.

So, I’m not really sad or shocked at all, but there definitely is a sense that though our names were not mentioned from the pulpit, people have been made aware of us in conversations and we are no longer considered friends by these people (or there’s something going on in their lives and they aren’t contacting anyone).

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