the weblog of Alan Knox

Repeating it blindly

Posted by on Mar 28, 2011 in blog links | 2 comments

Repeating it blindly

Henry at “Threads from Henry’s Web” has written a great article called “Christianity and Insanity.”

He begins his post discussing the tradition of holding revival meetings. But, this leads to a broader discussion of traditions and repetitive practices.

For example, consider this paragraph:

This is a pattern in the church. We take a moment of special blessing from God, and we build a building, create a schedule, appoint a committee, and make it into a series of traditional activities we can place on the church calendar. And then we keep doing the same thing irrespective of results.

Henry makes a good point here on several counts. First, most traditions begin because of something good. People have good intentions or good motives or even good outcomes. However, at some point, the intentions, motives, and outcomes are lost to the practices themselves.

Later, Henry says this: “It’s not that I’m opposed to organization, structure, or even tradition. But tradition is only of value when we learn from it, not when we repeat it blindly.”

Exactly. If a practice is no longer of value, then stop doing it. Unfortunately, many churches are built on these kinds of practices, and we prop them up by pretending that there are good results, or, if there are no good results, then it’s because of the people’s unfaithfulness, sin, lack of obedience, etc.

As the church, we should seek to build up one another toward maturity in Christ. If the things that we are doing are not helping us build one another up, then we need to change what we’re doing.


2 Comments

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  1. 3-29-2011

    “Exactly. If a practice is no longer of value, then stop doing it. Unfortunately, many churches are built on these kinds of practices, and we prop them up by pretending that there are good results, or, if there are no good results, then it’s because of the people’s unfaithfulness, sin, lack of obedience, etc.”

    Never seen that written before… but wow it’s so true. and then blaming it on the people – wow seen that too. so true.

    That’s probably part of the reason churches are so obsessed with ‘results’… numbers… justification for the way thigns are done?

  2. 3-29-2011

    Randi,

    Much of what I’ve read about the church falls under the category of “justification for the way things are done.”

    -Alan