A former Lutheran pastor sharing thoughts on faith and life. Please join the conversation! I love your comments!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

How The Church Could Resist Status Quo

Over recent years I have become more and more aware of the many ways the Christian church has sold out to society.  We have bought into the ways of power, capitalism, and supporting the status quo.  The only way the church lives according to different standards is through self-rightoeous judgmentalism regarding personal (most often sexual) morality.  There are so many ways the church could resist status quo and stand against injustice.  Some basic changes in attitude and the way the church does what it does could communicate a stand with the powerless and the outcast.  I thought about this for a recent sermon and here are some possibilities which came to mind:

* working for consensus in our decision making rather than simply allowing those with the power of numbers, the loudest voices, the most respected lineage to get their way

*holding lightly to material possessions from our buildings to fonts to office supplies, caring for them as resources entrusted to us in order to love our neighbors and if these resources become a barrier to such love, letting them go.

* refusing to keep score by resisting taking attendance, tallying up programs, or tabulating resources for the purpose of comparison.  Stalwartly refusing to play any numbers games or engaging in competition with other congregations or previous generations. 

*asking what we can give before considering what is in it for us,  pursuing ministry opportunities even when such ministry has little or no chance of growing our numbers or our budgets, doing what is right and what is helpful because it is right and helpful, learning to give of our time, our funds, our hearts and our hospitality without any expectation of reciprocation. 

*tearing down boundaries between those inside and those outside the church, casting aside valuing outsiders only for their potential to convert, rejecting any ideas of our own superiority even in faith, listening to voices outside of the church even inviting those voices into our decision making.

Some churches do some of these things but there is much room to explore a different way of functioning and a different way of being a force for peace, justice and mercy in our world.  There is so much room for change which, to me, means there is so much room for hope.  

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