Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Ambiguous Authority

My last post eluded but did not elaborate on the social distance between the people at the church and the ambiguous “they” who make the decisions about what the church commits to believe. This is at the top of the issues I find most troublesome. Whenever you desire to write your Congressman or Senator the internet produces a quick search. Their contact information is upfront and available and you can write to them over email or by pen and paper. The same applies to other social figures such as University faculty. But, the information about our church officials remains distant. We write to our elected officials to commend their support, plead our case, or pique their interest about something below the radar. We need to be able to do this for our church officials too.

Many good-hearted, well meaning Christians do not know who to address their grievances to in the church. Moreover, if they did, that does not guarantee that the church would listen, albeit, the church should not merely listen to those in the pew but follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in their committee decision making. But, do these non-committee members also have access to the Holy Spirit? Possibly someone out there can articulate the role of authority and leadership, please jump in the conversation.

Many are also leaving the church or creating a sub-denominations of the church after bitter wars over two looming issues: homosexuality and abortion. They grew weary of the tension, conflict, and seeming wasted effort. And, many are going it alone. Possibly they believe they do not have an adequate voice in the matters of the church? Possibly they're saying, "enough" and focus their attention to developing ministries for the poor outside of the church. Dissension is not something new for Protestants as the root is “protest”, but does there come a time where we need to stick with our church? Are those buildings more than just construction but embassies for God? Maybe the church can provide us with the information necessary to give us a voice. I will leave you with this poetry from Christian rapper LeCrae,

Some don't get it so they hate
They say she's on a paper chase they say she's really fake
So they go start a ministry so they can do the work
But they don't understand how Jesus feel about His church
And yeah they make disciples
They got plenty conversions
They take care of the widows and the orphans they be workin
But none of them are churchin
No church structure
No elders and no discipline
They have no conductor
And they so they don't submit
But quite a few of them baptize
People how I pray that you'd look at this thing from God's eyes
Take responsibility inside the whole council not just the area where you might have a mouthful
Who should folks submit to
Who will conduct the discipline
If excommunicated what body will they be missing then
Look at Ephesians 4 where Paul gets practical
1st Timothy and Titus if you thinking I'm irrational

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