yeah sorry for the big long posts here and for the ramblin but i really wanted to capture a few thoughts on the way through these weeks of study.
here's a quote i got from the now deceased Mike Yaconelli (Wittenberg Door Dec.74/Jan75 (when i was but a wee pup and Morgun was...) "…My strong disillusionment with the organized institutional church. It has been difficult to be very optimistic in the face of a structure that has allowed the American culture to define it. By that I mean that it continues to espouse a theology in practice that has been culturalized to the point of impotence. The liberal response has been to emphasize a weak social platform based on anemic social gospel while the evangelicals have countered with a sentimental doctrinal isolationism. Both are repugnant. Both are so structuralized that change is almost impossible. That in very general terms is the source of my disillusionment. But I use the word disillusionment purposefully I could have used disgust, disdain, or rejection, but disillusionment suggests shattered expectation or better yet a frustrated hope because I’ve always had a hope for the church. I love it! I need it! Although most of my critics read my criticism of the church as an honest camouflage of my own inadequacies, God seems to have taken me seriously..."
that right there is probably as close to saying things the way i might like to as it comes...
i think my expectations for the church are still high and even though i can see little out there in 'church world' that reflects the goodness i think should be there, i still have an enduring hope that it is possible to see the changes we really need. I realize too that this not jsut about MY hope and MY dreams. I want to be submissive to the ways we want to shift collectively (but intentionally). These words are my own "I’ve always had a hope for the church. I love it! I need it!" and i hope too that through my criticism will shine more than just my own camouflage over personal inadequacies but a genuine love and persevering anticiaption of what it might become. I know that i have often despaired -and i'll be honest- wished to be free from the grasp of the local church context with a disillusionment that seemed insurmountable. But somehow it haunts me. to be sure there is not much about the institution that we now call church that appeals to the hope i have for Christ's body, but for now this is pretty much the only context we have to relate to. I am responsible to that hope. I am extraordinarily tied to finding a way through the mess into something more. It makes me sad to see my local church losing steam so that it almost doesn't have the energy to fall apart but i am not sad really for anyone other than the kids. You know this 'institution' is all they see right now. If it fails them, as it has for so many already, will they even have a frame of reference with which to carry on the legacy of the body. So i cling to hope - and i wonder if i will see the fruit of that hope.
I will build my church... - Jesus