Friday, July 09, 2010

I'm worried we don't need God anymore

I read this great quote today "It's difficult to get the same fruit as the early church when we value the book they didn't have more than the Holy Spirit they did have"

I wonder if it goes deeper than that, I wonder if somewhere along the line we have substituted a living active community of Jesus followers outworking their faith in their everyday lives for something else?

I'm not sure what that something else is. This isn't rant against any form of church, we all outwork our faith in a faith community in so many different ways and I would hate to be so arrogant as to think that my ideas on how it should be done are anywhere close to being the only answer.

I've arrived at a much more content place when it comes to other expressions of church, there is more than one right answer, more than one right way of doing things. Yet I still live with a niggle, something just under my skin.

It's not really a "there must be more than this?" niggle anymore. If this is all there is then I am happy, I am pretty sure it is not all there is, but I am content, not striving, not driven, yet somehow I remain restless. Is it ok to be grown up and restless?

My restlessness does not make me want to move or change how I do things, the external hows and whys of church activity will always present me with a platter of likes and dislikes. We have to learn to be happy with diversity and randomness.

This inner restlessness is more to do with us, our own position, how we process and outwork our faith. I know this all sounds incredibly individualistic but we have to find an inner peace that can invoke a calm that enables us to deal with outer turmoil and frustration. Moving and changing the externals won't do that. Remain frustrated with how a certain church chooses to outwork it's community activity will get you nowhere. Inner peace and the uptake of our own personal responsibility to live our lives as effective disciples of Jesus within which ever faith community we find ourselves in, will.

I'm worried we don't need God anymore because we have so much external activity and busy-ness around the workings of church and our communities that we can actually look very Godly and live very faithfully without any real spiritual depth. If we are consumers the 21st century church sure has provided us with enough consumables to keep us busy for years.

Just thoughts


Anonymous said...

I know what you mean. I was walking around Tewkesbury Abbey and Gloucester Cathedral today, and I felt I could glimpse the awe which the builders had for God. We are so sophisticated today that we kind of think we are above God, that we've got the measure of Him. We seem to have lost the humility and powerlessness which is what we should feel when we think of God. We have become like adolescents who think they know everything. 'We have decoded the human genome therefore God is (almost) irrelevant. Sooner or later science will reveal all.' But the mysteries are still there - the origin of life; the origin of the universe. The fear of God is a great thing. A necessary thing.

Gary said...

Coming slightly late to comment, but I don't think you can separate the word and the Spirit as the quote seemed to? The early Church preached the Old Testament, with Jesus as the fulfillment of all the promises, so we certainly have the book they had. Plus, the New Testament is the apostolic teaching recorded for us, which is what they were teaching anyway. So I think there's a false dichotomy going on between word and Spirit, which could lead some to neglect the Bible and go 'with the Spirit' - but we can't have the Spirit without the Spirit-inspired word.

Brian said...

agreed Gary, thanks for the contribution. It was Bill Johnson quote.