Is Spiritual Growth Really The Point?

I mean, it seems a little construed. Jesus never explained it quite that way, you know? Yes, He was a teacher. Yes, He commanded us to make disciples and to teach them. But He also said we would have the Holy Spirit, and that we wouldn't need anyone to teach us.

A side point... the Bible was written by people who lived thousands of years ago for people who lived thousands of years ago. So everything is contextual and nothing applies to us today. OR... Nothing is contextual and everything applies to us today. OR... You get to choose for yourself what you believe applies to you and what doesn't. How postmodern.

Okay, back to the original line of thought. This Willow Creek Reveal stuff really has me questioning what churches choose to focus their energy and resources on. Is following the Way of Jesus really about teaching each other more Bible knowledge? Are we really supposed to be gathering in classes two days a week to become smarter Christians? And then are we supposed to be doing market research and statistical analysis to examine the success of our education programs? Is that what Jesus had in mind?

"Not that there's anything wrong with that!"

How many Bible classes do you have to take before you get to go to heaven? How many Sunday school groups do you have to attend before you can feed a hungry person or visit someone who is sick? And which is a better use of your time? Is being a Christian about you? Or is it about others?


ConnieJ said...

Wow Pastor, I happen to agree with you a 100%. So many times I look around and am shocked by how much the church looks like "big business". I'm not even talking about money. More just how things operate. Everything must be successful, but more than that, LOOK successful. I have SO many things I can say on this subject, but I don't want to hurt any feelings.

I have always viewed reading the bible as real to me as Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus just being drawn in by WHATEVER He was saying. I think THAT made Mary "mature".

I love the bible classes because I love learning. However I have found it is now like any other religion class.

I always wonder, why don't we worry as much on coming together and praying. I suppose it's not as popular to say, hey, wanna come to a pray meeting with me today?


David Golden said...

I hope they let you preach once in a while at Our Place. I'm sure people will jump all over you for even asking some of these questions, but what great food for thought! Also, we musicians are always having to struggle: is the point of worship such that we really need to buy that pipe organ/digital delay pedal/new microphone/any of a million other things we salivate over, or are we making better use of our resources if we lead worship with an old beat up guitar and use the thousands of dollars that we would like to spend to instead feed the hungry, cure AIDS, support a missionary, etc? I think I'm afraid to learn the actual answer to this, so I spend a lot of time justifying how I "lead others into worship, and enable others to use their gifts for God's glory."

Ken said...

Ouch! Yes, I too am afraid of the answers.

And the comments about the "appearance" of success ring very true. Since the Reveal research came out, Willow Creek has been quick to point out that "numbers" do not equal "success". And they are right to do so. This is a paradigm shift in church thinking!

Terry said...

you make me have faith in christians.