the weblog of Alan Knox

Focusing on forms

Posted by on Mar 24, 2008 in blog links, community, fellowship | 2 comments

Since I usually write about the church on my blog, many people assume that I spend alot of time talking to people about the church. In fact, the opposite is true. Unless someone brings up a topic related to the church, I’d much prefer talking to people about what God is doing in our lives and how we can help each other mature in Christ. Dave Black wrote a good reminder concerning focusing on forms (Sunday, March 23, 9:20 PM):

The obsession with institutionalism and ritualism is something the evangelical church has long possessed. Yet the Holy Spirit is still at work in our institutions and rituals. Love is more important than the external forms of “doing church,” and a small, apparently tradition-bound congregation held together by strong bonds of love may be of far greater significance than an apparently “New Testament” church that is in reality permeated with an over-emphasis upon the wineskins. The reality of genuine friendship, spontaneity, and spiritual liberty is of the greatest importance, and too much emphasis on the externals can be stupefying.

So, if you ask me in person, I’ll be glad to explain to you my views of the church. But, if you don’t as me, you’ll probably never hear me explain my views. However, hopefully, you will see me live out my views of the church in my relationships with the people around me.


2 Comments

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  1. 3-24-2008

    Alan,

    Your last sentence explains my own endeavor over the years.

    I read brother Dave’s comments, which cause me to wonder more about how the difference between our cultural backgrounds affects our Christian lives.

    I hesitate to write these words because they sound so negative: I would dearly love to say that his words clearly describe the church scene in this country, but they don’t.

    In our country the external forms of “doing church” are most definitely more important than love in most fundamental/evangelical congregations.

    Being “tradition bound” has quenched the Holy Spirit, and been the cause of disintegration in many congregations, and the means by which empty church buildings have been sold to become places of commerce.

    I agree wholeheartedly with Dave’s words,”The reality of genuine friendship, spontaneity, and spiritual liberty is of the greatest importance, and too much emphasis on the externals can be stupefying.”

    The closing phrase of your quote has widely been proven to be so very true in this country.

  2. 3-25-2008

    I needed to hear this!