the weblog of Alan Knox

Quotes related to the church…

Posted by on Jul 25, 2007 in blog links, definition | 5 comments

Here are a couple of quotes related to the church that I have been thinking about since yesterday.

Scot McKnight quotes Kester Brewing:

“If the people who built the railroads in the United States were actually interested in transporting people, they would now own the airlines.”

Len Hjalmarson quotes Gordon Cosby:

“If men and women today began by the thousands experiencing the depths of Jesus Christ in a transforming way, there would simply be no place for their expression of experience to fit into the present-day straitjackets of Christianity. Protestant or Catholic, neither one is structured to contain a mass of devoted people who long for spiritual depth. We are structured towards infancy.”

Are these two quotes on track or not? What can we learn from these quotes?


5 Comments

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  1. 7-25-2007

    Alan,

    I remember reading a quote somewhere a while back. I can’t confirm it, and I don’t know who wrote it but it makes sense. It read like this:

    “There are more people alive
    today than that have ever died.”

    Why do we think of the Spirit as a two thousand year old camp fire that is slowly burning out, thinking we have it contained to our campsites, and dowsing any stray embers that escape.

    When,in reality, it should be seen as a camp fire turned raging forest fire growing larger, hotter, and brighter every day consuming everything in it’s path with no chance of containment.

    The Spirit moved through the first Christians, performing numerous signs and wonders. We have that same Spirit in us, and I’m pretty sure God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He said He would never leave us.

    We should be witnessing the Spirit move like never before in history. But, we don’t. Not like our early Christian brothers and sisters did.

    What changed?? I don’t know the answer.

    I know if I was preaching the “good news” to a non-believer I would want the Spirit to move through me mightily, rather than me on my own authority tell them, “you just need to believe, have faith, and come to church with me.”

    You quoted Len Hjalmarson, and Gordon Cosby,

    “We are structured towards
    infancy.”

    Very true. I think we’ve mistakenly been building orphanages and hiring wet nurses to feed Christians, when we should be arms dealers equiping the saints with weapons and hunting guides showing them how to track, kill, dress, and eat, meat.

    Jeff

  2. 7-25-2007

    Alan–

    I have been encouraged by your writings, and the comments on your blog, calling for an examination of how we ‘do church’. But I have a real question, not just rhetorical— are there really gatherings like those you describe? Where Christ is truly the head, where knowing and loving Him more is the highest goal, where believers, with all their struggles, can be fully known and yet fully loved? I know it’s God’s design for His church, and I want to believe that there exists a place like that for my family. But in two decades of knowing Christ, I’ve yet to find it. Many churches would eagerly declare that is what they’re all about– until you’re too needy to ‘help’ or ‘give’ or ‘support’. Then it turns to polite indifference, which is just as painful as outright rejection. I don’t want to become cynical, or unbelieving. And God has been faithful to provide me with a couple people (not part of our ‘church’) who know me “inside out” and love and encourage me in Christ. I thank Him for them.

    But my family is poor, and hurting, and tired. And while I want to be a good example to my children and spouse, and not forsake the assembling, the truth is, that I fear what they are beginning to believe is that church, well…hurts.

    So I ask sincerely, do you know of many places where ‘church’ is more about healing than hurting?

  3. 7-25-2007

    Alan,

    I apologize for the double post, but I have to say this.

    I am confident that “Jesus wept” as I, and the Spirit inside me did, when I read this anonymous comment.

    Father, forgive us for the abuse we inflict upon YOUR body.

  4. 7-25-2007

    Alan,

    My wife and I were speaking of this very issue prior to my arising this morning.

    Jeff’s comment is valid for me.

    Anonymous has stated well what caused me much anguish as I sought to help churches deal with the issue of always demanding their so-called benevolent actions to have “a profitable” outcome (money, backsides on seats,etc.prestige in the community), often in the guise of good stewardship.

    The lost look on and shake their heads.

  5. 7-25-2007

    Anonymous,

    Thank you for sharing this with us. Like Jeff, my heart was broken as I was reading your story. This is one of the reasons that I encourage believers to get the eyes off of their systems and look around at the people themselves.

    To answer your question… yes, I believe there truly are believers who are trying to love one another. It seems that God has brought at least of couple of them into your lives. While I am still learning and growing, the things that I write are not theoretical or idealistic. I do try to live out what God is showing me in Scripture. As we do this together, we represent the church of God as he intends.

    I echo Jeff’s prayer. If you would like to contact me, please email me at aknox@sebts.edu.

    -Alan