30 November 2014

When Structures Kill

I can't find the word "organic" anywhere in the Bible. My Hebrew is non-existent and my Greek nearly so but I haven't ever run across it in a concordance, an inter-linear, or any translation or interpretation (I doubt the word existed during the time of King James).

But the original Church of Jesus was totally organic- it was Jesus and people and food and miracles and joy and stuff like that. It was constantly in motion, constantly growing, constantly new. The main non-organic part was Holy Spirit, who just takes organic into new realms.

In too many cases, the modern version of the Church (or rather, many churches) thinks in terms of structures- land, physical plant, hierarchy, covering, accountability, and so on. In and of themselves, there's nothing wrong with any of these. But taken to extremes they are extremely destructive. Couple these with lots of rules and regulations (as inevitably happens when structures take over) and you ten toward becoming a cult. Blech.

If the structures don't facilitate the organic Church- the community, the family- then I have no use for them. If the bricks, rules, or any other structure tries to define / solely contain / otherwise run the organic relationships, I'm out.

When structures start trumping the organic Church, they are probably driven by one or more of these culprits:

  1. Control - someone feels the need
  2. Fear - "If we don't..." "If we let..." "What if?" "Do you know what happened?" "Do you know what could happen?"
  3. Misunderstanding the Bible
  4. Taking verses out of context
There may well be others but I have seen these time and again. I've seen a lot of good people hurt badly by all of these. The antidotes?
  1. Love.
  2. Grace.
  3. Honor.
  4. Freedom.
  5. Joy
  6. Peace
All that stuff. Every. Last. Time. And we know the real source of the antidote- a relationship with God: with Daddy, with Jesus, with Holy Spirit.

I honestly don't care if you have joined a "local church" although there's a lot to be said for that if you can find a healthy one (or are healthy enough to help grow one). Community and family look different to different people. If your community and family are strictly online, that's better than nothing! (There was a time that other than my wife, my main community of faith was online.) But some days you need a hug, Or coffee or tea. Or whatever. Or they do. So look around you. There's someone. Embrace your brother and sister regardless of where they worship or what label (if any) they wear. Remember the second commandment- just like the first- "love your neighbor as yourself". Laugh with those who rejoice and weep with those who mourn. Feed the hungry. Clothe the naked. Take care of the outcast. Eat and drink together. Sing, dance, play games, talk, pray, sit quietly, go for walks, heal the sick, set the captive free.

That's what Jesus did. That's what the disciples did. Why do we think we have a better plan? Do you really think Jesus would have been more effective with modern business methods? Do you really think he didn't see these coming? He did. He might have wept.

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