[ … continued from here]
Inherently, the modus operandi of quasi-prophetic, interrogatory verbalization runs counter to long-practiced norms — and to a good many beliefs tenaciously held by the masses. For this disequilibrious endeavor I will make no apology, but if I ever seem to be fighting the individual’s independent, sincere pursuit of Almighty God and His eternal kingdom, I sit ready to be corrected.
In my last post, I listed an initial, six things I would do in, to, and for the earthly, western church of the 21st century, if I had the ability. These had to do with sects and structures, the clergy role, and scriptural moorings. The ramifications of some of these items are broad, and I’m fully aware of the audacity of some of them. In order to be clear about my human fallibility, I am presenting my list of twelve items in half-twelve lists of six, the “number of man.” The total number — a nice, round, “biblical” one — has more reference to the current calendar year than to biblical completion: here, although I touch on several matters I consider crucial, I make no claim to being exhaustive.
Below, then, is the second group of six things I would do in, to, and for the earthly, western church, if I had the ability. These six concern (1-2) relational dynamics, (3-4) concepts of worship and of the Christian gathering, and (5-6) understandings of beginnings and continuations.
- create small groups and other home gatherings where they do not already exist
- inject a more apt understanding of the assembly (for starters, not thinking of it as a “service”)
- infuse a deeper understanding of the nature and extents of worship — neither a) considering it to be singing or as confined to a musical style preference (e.g., so-called “worship music”), nor b) superimposing liturgical notions of “service,” thus obscuring worship
- balance reverence with familial informality — establishing a patently respectful, informal (although not a casual) approach to worship and other church activities
- cause an acceptance of the biblical place of the believer’s immersion in clothing oneself with Jesus as Savior — thus identifying fully with His death, burial, and resurrection (as a result, eradicating residual trust in such items as infant sprinkling, the incantational “sinner’s prayer,” and institutional church affiliation)
- instill a solid, long-lasting, far-reaching concept and practice of discipleship, as opposed to false security in hereditary church “membership”
Not all the twelve items (the ones above, plus the last six) are of equal importance, but they are all important to me. They don’t represent the gamut of need within Christendom; there are other areas that need attention, as well. I don’t claim to be all that circumspect or insightful — only ardent for pure Christianity where I find its current iteration tainted.
While the list of twelve items may contract or expand with the passing years, I have given these enough thought, through enough time, that I expect them to remain with me, to some extent, until I die — or until the Son returns to claim His own. I do not believe m/any of the items will ever come to pass, in any appreciable measure. In the circles in which I have influence, however, God giving me life and influence, I am resolved to encourage the absorption of these and other aspects of biblically well-founded Christianity.