the weblog of Alan Knox

Tweaking the particulars without confronting the core assumptions

Posted by on Jul 31, 2012 in blog links | 12 comments

Tweaking the particulars without confronting the core assumptions

A few weeks ago, Arthur at “The Voice of One Crying Out in Suburbia” wrote a post called “I think it is time” announcing that he and his family were “going fully into the organic/simple/house church thing.” Later, in a post called “Decompressing,” he wrote that his family has enjoyed not having the pressure of “going to church.” Of course, as you might expect, he’s gotten a little push back from some who claim he is “forsaking the assembly.”

Now, Arthur has written an excellent post called “Not searching for a ‘perfect church’.” While he writes many excellent things in that post, there is one paragraph in particular that I want to highlight:

Those of us who are part of this perfect church must nevertheless find ways to relate to one another because that is how we are strengthened and encouraged, that is how new believers are equipped and shown by example what to do, older believers are renewed and all of us are supposed to be stirred up to good works. Where the rubber hits the road is how this occurs and it certainly seems to be the case that the very reasons for the local gathering to happen, listed above, are not happening with any sort of regularity. The evidence for that is all around us and most of us get it to some extent but the “solution” is always to reshuffle the things we are already doing in the hopes that if we move them around we can make a tower out of marbles. I reject the notion that all we need to do is tweak the particulars without confronting the core assumptions.

In that last sentence I think that Arthur sums up the conclusion that many brothers and sisters in Christ are coming to: simply tweaking the particulars without confronting the core assumptions (about what it means to be the church and to gather together as the church) does not help.

Unfortunately, too many are still satisfied with “tweaking the particulars” and getting a rush out of the small changes without realizing the underlying problems. Because of that, many are taking the same steps that Arthur and his family are taking.

Should everyone take the same steps that Arthur is taking? Probably not. That is between you and God. But, whatever you decide to do, seek to maintain fellowship with your brothers and sisters in Christ, even if you must break your connections with various organizations and institutions.


12 Comments

Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 7-31-2012

    I honestly believe that if we, as individual citizens of The Kingdom and sons of God, would simply read again about how The Church (His Church) was built and demonstrated within The Book of Acts, amazing things would happen this side of Heaven.

    Institutional churches care about profits.
    Our Father’s Kingdom is more into prophets.

    See what I did there? A clever play on words, yes? Well,..oh…it sounded funnier in my head. Ha!

    Simple ekklesia, organic ekklesia, home ekklesia…whichever. It is time to return to the old since the new seems to have left us all forsaken and confused.

  2. 7-31-2012

    I found a perfect church once…but they would not let me join…said it would not be a perfect church anymore.

    Reading Simple Church (Rainer) again…

    Our evangelism is trying to take us back to some basics and Sunday, Sr. Pastor was out of town, I preached Acts 1:8 and said that verse reveals 3 of the basic keywords of ekklesia…Power, You and Witness. God supplies the pow
    er, You supply the you and in His power, you Witness.

  3. 7-31-2012

    breaking connections with the religious machine is seldom done in isolation. More significant would be the work of Christ (by the Spirit) in the person (family) who is outwardly making the observable change. We can imagine an addict, released from his/her addiction… but, what then? and, why? Ending the addiction will be of little significance compared to what unfolds in/for them following.

  4. 7-31-2012

    You know what’s interesting? The only reason that we know what the church should be and how the church should act is because they were not being and acting like that. So, some mature believers – Paul, Peter, James, John, etc. – wrote to them to correct them in both their identity and practice. And, yet, those believers also had the Spirit, and they had mature examples in other followers, and they lived much closer in time to the actual events.

    I only write this to say that we (and I’m including myself in this) must be careful not to condemn those who we disagree with, but instead continually seek to work together toward unity, faith, and service in the gospel in Jesus Christ.

    -Alan

  5. 7-31-2012

    Seeking: an apostle, a teacher, a shepherd, and an evangelist, according to Ephesians 4:11-16, for an Online Ekklesia.

    Since reading this blog, I have noticed some readers and commenters who are mature in the faith, and not ‘Sunday only Christians’ with an online axe to grind.

    I am looking for those aforementioned equipping gifts and the men/women who may function within them. The Body needs them. Let’s do this.

    (Alan, I apologize for the grossly blatant advertising on your blog, but you have some amazing readers who I think The Spirit will reach out to for this project, and it made sense for me to do this here. This is fertile ground for the equipping gifts!)

    You can reach Online Ekklesia here:
    http://www.onlineekklesia.wordpress.com Feel free to leave a comment if interested. Thanks!

  6. 7-31-2012

    Alan, these are issues I feel deeply about. See my post http://jesus.scilla.org.uk/2012/02/oneness-and-reconciliation.html

    If I can’t get the fundamentals in place (‘one with Christ’ and ‘one with each other’) how can Jesus build anything of value using me?

    Being ‘one’ with another demands I give up my rights. I must put myself last in order to put others first. Who among us is willing to lead the way? Or rather, who among us will follow the One who IS the Way?

  7. 7-31-2012

    Donald,

    Thanks for the info and link to your site.

    Chris,

    Yes, I feel very deeply about those issues as well. Thanks for the link to your post.

    -Alan

  8. 12-18-2012

    If there’s one question that has taken up most of my thinking about “church” in the past year, this post approaches it. There is such a compulsion to “get back to the way church used to be.” It seems though, that as much energy is being devoted toward that end, the church simply can not shed its modern day assumptions. We bring all this stuff with us into the past and contaminate the timeline. It’s like going “back to the future.”

  9. 12-18-2012

    Miguel,

    What do you think is the answer to this problem?

    -Alan

  10. 12-19-2012

    Alan,

    I had to think about this for a while and this just hit me:

    If the Church wants to return to its New Testament model, it must first recapture the New Testament’s mode of mission.

    Still Fleshing it out. Probably will blog on it later.

  11. 12-20-2012

    Miguel,

    Thanks. I appreciate you post.

    For anyone interested,

    Here is the post that Miguel wrote: “Returning to 1st Century Church Requires…

    -Alan

  12. 12-20-2012

    A few years ago, the Lord led me out of a demoninational church (my wife thought I was crazy – she followed 6 weeks later). There were no viable alternatives where we live, so as a rule, we worship at home. We have been led into ministry to those with disabilities. We have recently begun having bible studies (extremely simple)with some intelectually disabled women at home, followed by a bit of cooking and craft activities. I feel that actions are a lense and they magnify what we say, for good or bad. It is my observation over 35 years that in churches, much is said but there is little practical love and to stretch the analogy a little further, no fire.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Returning to 1st Century Church Requires… | Pathways International - [...] In a blog post by Alan Knox entitled, “Tweaking the particulars without confronting the core assumptions,” he says that …