I’m talking about something way more devastating than the millions of people suffering each year from something called “Identity Theft”. Something more distressing than the billions of dollars missing and the plummeting credit ratings of those who have suffered through this “victimless crime”. Something more devaluing than the cost of lost of trust and belief in the common goodness and decency of our fellow human beings. I’m also talking about something that “Lifelock” cannot do anything about!
What I am talking about is identity theft crisis that our society and culture is experiencing due to the stolen identity of God’s Church. Within that small statement lies a tremendous amount of confusion & debate about what “the Church” would even be. In my estimation much of that comes from the damage so many of us have done with our language about “the church” – and that is exactly what I’d like to address to some extent in the coming days.
Much of my discussion will take place not as a “theological debate” but more of a journey through my own understanding of this entity – in hopes that maybe I will find people of like-mind who are battling with some of this same ambiguity. OR to find people who might not be of like-mind who will share their story as well in hopes that both of us may be changed to grasp more of what God’s true intention was for His body – and to uncover the clues that leads back to a discovery of gigantic proportions – of which the likes of Sir Sherlock Holmes would be proud!
I begin, via this introduction post about this “missing church”, with what I’d like to call all people to. A challenge to STOP SAYING YOU “GO TO CHURCH”! I have struggled with this concept for a few years (although I’d have been the first to admit while growing up that there was no greater privilege than to say I was “going to church”). I think that this concept is taught from a very early age to those who grew up in an environment of a “religious” or “church-going” home life. Just think about (for those who may remember this) the old child’s rhyme that went like this.
Picture a mommy or daddy – trying to get their child to grasp the importance of wanting to “go to church” and sitting down with them at play. Getting them to fold their hands with their fingers intertwined all tucked neatly inside the palms of their hands. Index fingers point out as they begin the little poem…. “Here is the church, and here is the steeple, open the door and see all the people”.
On the surface one could say that there is nothing inherently wrong with this concept and idea. But my push back and challenge would be that we are teaching our children that “the church” is a place, is a building (not to mention that it has to have a steeple!), is an event or a gathering – and basically is only there to teach the concept that it should be seen as a place where we want to “GO” to because we SHOULD.
Please understand that I am not here to BASH parents who for decades have been teaching this silly little song – but I am here to challenge our mindsets that just doing what we have ALWAYS DONE (on many levels I might add) have done nothing if not helped to steal the TRUE IDENTY of God’s beautiful Bride & Body – “THE CHURCH”.
So won’t you join me as I share with you the rest of my journey?